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Pre-Proposed Projects 2017

Pre-proposed project Areas (2017-2018)

Below are some suggestions of project areas that you could be a part of if you joined Project Ignite. In the bullet points, we listed some directions the project could take, but ultimately it will be up to you. If none of these interest you, consider proposing your own project! We're excited to see what you come up with.

Environmentally adaptable lights

The idea behind this project is to adapt and control lighting in cool and interesting ways. There are a lot of things you can do with clever choices of light: light shows, mood lighting, simple images and graphics, or some kind of sensory experience (like matching colors to music, smells, sounds, etc). Some directions this project could take are: 

  • Investigating color theory, the psychology of color, and how lighting creates certain moods and feels

  • Building and programming dynamic light shows

  • Making simple LED monitors capable of displaying small, basic images

  • Designing lighting systems which respond to music

  • Possible focuses: psychology, graphic design, programming, computer hardware


In this project, we hope to explore the world of augmented reality and the useful and awesome stuff which can be achieved using AR. There are huge amounts of potential in using AR for art, for education, for video games, and for general practical use. Here's some ideas we had:

  • Use AR to overlay information on space to create a "super-classroom" to make education more engaging and fun

  • Associate sound loops with objects around you, so the room you're in comes to life with its own unique rhythm

  • Use AR to turn a regular building into an "educational theme park". For example, instead of reading about the organelles in a cell from a textbook, imagine walking around a building where each room is an organelle (so you could go to the mitochondrion room and learn about mitochondria)!

  • Possible focuses: programming, computer graphics, computer vision, education, video game design, sound design, music


If you're an artist, why limit yourself to just one medium? All kinds of awesome art arises when sounds and visuals, or sound and objects, are combined. In this project, we want to dive into music visualization, and see what cool stuff we can do! Some ideas:

  • Make some kind of mechanical device which moves or draws or paints according to the music it is hearing

  • Build a digital music visualizer, which takes sounds and generates lively graphics to complement

  • Possible focuses: sound design, mechanical engineering, computer graphics, visualization

We're quickly moving into a future where robots will do all our cooking and cleaning for us. We here at Project Ignite want to make that future happen, by automating some kind of household appliance. Which appliance(s) we automate is entirely up to you! Here's some places we could take this project:

  • Robotics: trying to make our automated appliance smarter and more autonomous

  • 3D printing and manufacturing: investigate what materials and design choices will make our appliance most effective.

  • Possible focuses: robotics, 3D printing, manufacturing, machine learning

Automated household appliance

This project arises from one question: how can we make video games not just fun, but beneficial? Video games have the ability to capture our attention and focus, so how can we use that focus to make our lives better? For example, biologists were able to understand the structure of proteins better by making some of the hard work into a fun game, and releasing it to the public. How can we do this sort of thing? Some possible directions:

  • A video game that is so distracting that anyone who plays it can't think about anything else

  • Explore whether this video game can be used as a therapeutic tool

  • How can we use video games to make productive work fun?

  • Possible focuses: video game design, programming, art, sound design

The Most distracting video game

Ever wanted to make your own board game? In this project, we could explore the theory and practice of board game design, as well as the process of designing and manufacturing the pieces, board, cards, etc. Some ideas: 

  • Everyone has a favorite board game. Try your hand at designing your own game with your own set of rules.

  • What's the craziest and most engaging board game we can come up with which is still fun and easy to play?

  • Design and 3D print your own game pieces

  • Possible focuses: 3D printing, manufacturing, board game design, art

Design and manufacture a board game

Not content to just play existing musical instruments, we're going to make our own! In this project, we could explore what exactly makes different instruments sound the way they do, and how can we make cool new instruments for all kinds of different sounds? We could also go into music composition and theory, and try to write music for our new instruments!

  • Create your own design of a musical instrument, and actually physically create the instrument

  • Explore compositions you can create with the musical instrument you designed

  • Design a set of related instruments (an orchestra!)

  • Possible focuses: sound design, music composition, manufacturing, 3d-printing

Design and manufacture a musical instrument

Combine the world of chemistry with the art of cooking! In this project, we’ll explore how all our senses play their own roles in our appreciation of food, how our brains interpret the signals from all our senses to tell us the "flavor" of food, and how new cooking methods might produce improved results of texture and flavor.

  • Experiment with cooking techniques unique to the field of molecular gastronomy such as emulsification and spherification!

  • Create new and original takes on classic recipes!

  • Design your own exotic recipes (and eat them too)!

  • Possible focuses: food science, chemistry, psychology

Molecular Gastronomy

Create a New Sport

Sporting events have been known to draw some of the largest crowds, but have you ever wondered what brings so many people there? In this project, you could answer this question and more by analyzing existing sports, developing improvements to known sports, or even coming up with your very own! Some directions you could go include:

  • Using statistics to predict team or individual success in sports and determining the degree randomness plays in this success

  • Discovering what makes sports entertaining, exciting, and appealing

  • Using data to improve the way sports are played/viewed

  • Possible focuses: statistics, design, anatomy/biology, psychology, math