Picture of Monitor - Thinking Skins

This project was part of Multimodal Media Madness 2014, hosted by the chair for Computer Aided Architectural Design (CAAD) and the Media Computing Group of RWTH Aachen University. For more Thinking Skins,
please check this page:

Given were small shared space containers for 6/8 students, built with the WikiHouse technology. A standard facade panel of 562 x 562mm had to be developed, acommodating useful technology that would make the functionality and the “life” in the shared space better. Sensors and micro-controllers had to be used in order to acomplish this assignment. The Idea of our monitoring panel is to give essential information of the inner conditions of the shared space to the outside. Since numerous small containers are to be spread around campus it was important to outline criteria for choosing which one exactly is suitable for every individual. Occupancy, temperature, noise level and air quality are the most important of them and our panel provides real time information for those. Wireless sensors spread around the shared space communicate constantly to an arduino module. The values are being estimated and simplified information is displayed on the front panel that is embeded in the facade itsself.

Step 1: Things you will need

Picture of Things you will need


• Arduino Uno (starter kit for the prototype)

• 4 meter LPD8806 Digital RGB LED Weatherproof Strip

• PCB material (double-sided)

• pappel 4mm (Box) and some remains from former jobs

• chopper wire (different colors for less confusion)

• 3 potentiometer (0.2 inch space between pins)

• 4x PSK 254/W3 , 2x /W2, 1x /W4 plug connection

• 20x crimp contact • 1x flip switch (on/off switch)

• 2x powercables (5V, 1.5 to 3 A each)

• 1x power jack RASM 722X

• 4x crimp header 2.54mm

• 1x2, 1x8, 1x6 pin strip

• shrinking hose

• wood glue

• 1x pin wire


• soldering iron
• Laser-cutter

• PCB mill

• crimp tool

• wire stripper

• sandpaper

The source code and all important files for the PCB milling machine and the laser cutter are provided
in my github repository. In addition to those files, you have to download the library for the LED strip first. The Adafruit tutorial page provides a nice overview of how the strip works.

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This is fantastic! We had something similar when I was in college that you could check online and would tell you if there were free washers and driers in the laundry room!