How about we get started designing? Lets begin with materials. As a computer technician, I was able to collect various (broken) motherboards so this will be one of my primary mediums. I love repurposing material, especially when it was never intended to be used in its newfound manner. I encourage everyone to recycle old plastic, wood, paper, carpet, and any part you salvage from the trash can. Just be sure to give it a nice cleaning, beforehand. :)
When I designed this piece, I wanted something that was beautiful during the day and came alive at night (or when the lights dimmed). I decided on a LED marquee. Doing some research, I found various methods that could achieve this: arduino, pre-made matrixes, custom-from-scratch builds, etc. Ultimately, I decided on using the hardware/code found in NerdKits Marquee LED Array
. In turn, this gave me a scalable 21x5 matrix that I could work with. There are tons of ways to achieve this and I encourage you to find what fits you and your budget best. I had never created an LED marquee before so don't let it scare you.
Approximately 10 motherboards
1 - 4x2 (or wider) backing mdf/plywood
Approx 55' of 1/8" Basswood strips (2" deep or larger if you want to cut down, as I did).
Hardware: (threaded rod, nuts)
Bolts/Nuts - $10
MDF - $10
Basswood - $60
Recycled Material (I chose motherboards) - $0
Electronics - $135
Total - $215