For the upcycling project, I intend to do an aquatic or underwater aesthetic. The project consists of using clear plastic bottles filled with orbeez and illuminated using LED light strips, similar to the product shown in Figure 1. The orbeez in the bottle aids in exposing the light from the LED in a way resembling the glow of sea life in the ocean. The reason for choosing this project is the abundant availability of unused or waste water bottles in every house and the many possibilities of its usability with slight modifications. The reason for choosing this particular aesthetic is to make use of the transparency of the plastic and the shape of the bottles in such a way that it makes the bottle hangable and illuminated. Regarding the materials I intend to use in this, Orbeez becomes translucent and slightly transparent when hydrated. This inherent quality allows them to diffuse light, creating a captivating and soft radiance. In the context of the aquatic theme, the translucent nature of Orbeez can mimic the way light passes through water, contributing to the overall illusion of an underwater environment. LED light strips, with their versatility in color and intensity, can be strategically placed to enhance the visual impact of the Orbeez. By choosing cool-toned colors such as blues and greens, reminiscent of underwater environments, a lighting scheme that complements the overall aesthetic can be created. The LEDs also provide a consistent and adjustable source of light that can mimic the dynamic qualities of natural light in the ocean. The combined effect of the translucent Orbeez and LED lighting can resemble the bioluminescence found in certain sea creatures. Bioluminescence is the production and emission of light by living organisms, such as jellyfish and other marine life.
Figure 1: Illuminate glass jars
Figure 2: A picture showing the glow of sea life.
The goal is to evoke the visual qualities associated with underwater environments. Some elements and design choices can contribute to an aquatic theme, as discussed below:
Color Palette: I intend to choose a color palette reminiscent of the ocean, such as various shades of blue and green. These colors can mimic the tranquility and depth of underwater scenes.
Orbeez Arrangement: Arrangement the Orbeez in a way that mimics the look of bubbles or sea anemones. Clusters of Orbeez can resemble coral formations or underwater flora.
LED Lighting: For cool-toned LED lights, I intend to opt for colors such as blues and greens, to enhance the underwater ambiance. Gradual transitions or gentle pulsating light patterns can be used to mimic the movement of water.
Floating Elements: Integration of small floating decorations or figurines that are commonly associated with underwater scenes, such as fish, seashells, or miniature aquatic creatures. These additions can enhance the overall thematic effect.
Transparency and Light Diffusion: Leveraging the transparency of the clear plastic bottle to create a sense of depth, much like looking into a body of water. The Orbeez can refract light, contributing to the illusion of a dynamic underwater environment.
Subtle Textures: If the clear plastic bottle allows the addition of subtle textures that mimic the ripples or waves in the water. This can be achieved through the choice of materials or by incorporating textured elements within the Orbeez.
Reflective Surfaces: Introduction of reflective surfaces within the bottle to simulate the play of light on the water’s surface. This can be achieved through the use of reflective materials or by strategically placing mirrored elements.
One limitation of using orbeez is its lifespan, which is affected by various factors. One solution to the decay of orbeez would be a regular replacement of them. One other possible solution is packaging of the orbeez such that there would no exposure to air.