Interactive Tree Structure

I want to build this - thoughts?

Interactive Tree - Night - 3


A metal art structure that looks in some ways like a tree. The base of the tree are 3 thick roots that transform into bikes for people to ride on to move the structures through mechanisms (e.g., chains?) that connect the bike movements through the trunk of the tree to the various parts of the limbs and branches of the tree that have parts to move. The parts of the tree that can move are limbs and branches that extend into globes, spirals, wheels, gears, pulleys, and such.

This interactive sculpture would be a destination in the town. It will be fun for people to interact with. It will be fun for people to view and follow. It would enable the community to engage in an open space area in for a nice walk, having a picnic, or just hanging out.


The following are the minimal expectations of the structure:

  • General Design: The general design is a tree with 3 roots and 3 bikes and an open set of movable parts upon the trunk through limbs and branches
  • Human Powered: Must require human interaction to “work”
    • 3 separate people, each riding bikes in the 3 roots of the tree
  • Individual effort, individual benefit: Each person doing the “work” must be able to contribute a different change in the movement of the structure (e.g., spinning of a globe and some gears)
  • Group effort, group benefit: Having all 3 people work for a period simultaneously, should create a unique movement (e.g., spinning of a hypnotizingly beautiful wheel)
  • Safety First: Must be a safe, sound structure that is not subject to fall or break off
  • Weather Resistant: Must be able to handle harsh, New England weather - rain, sleet, snow, wind
  • Human Visible, Conversant, and Accessible: Ideally, each person, child and large, within reason, must be able to leverage the bike, see each other, and be able to hold a conversation

Additional Requirement Concept Ideas

  • Lights: Bikes can provide a light show at night that changes colors / visuals when biking. Parts of the structure can be lit up with and without the bikes being acted upon.
  • Music: There movement of each bike produces a sound or sets of sound that is musical. All 3 bikes played together plays a tune together.
  • Electricity: To turn the lights on and potentially make the music work, a combination of solar energy capture and/or bike energy charged into a battery and used should be used. No PowerGrid electricity. The energy should be self-managed.
  • Mobile, Separable, Extensible: To be able to move from location to location to share with other towns in the Merrimack Valley, MA, or the US for fairs, festivals, or other events. Bikes could be separate from roots, roots can be separate from the movable objects.
  • Canopies: There are canopies above the bikes to protect from the weather and provide light when used.
  • Benches: 4-6 benches facing the tree
  • Andover, MA, or US specific: To be able to have 6 concepts / events / ideas that represent a community to tell a historical and shared past through what are the roots of the community that bloomed to certain values we hold dear:
    • MA example:
      • Education: First free public school (Boston, 1639), public secondary school (Boston Latin Grammar School, 1635), University (Harvard, Cambridge, 1636), and public Library (Boston, 1653) in America
      • Freedom of Speech: The First Printing Press (Cambridge, 1638) and first regularly issued American newspaper (The Boston News-Letter, 1704) in America
      • Independence: First battle of American Revolution (Lexington and Concord, 1775) in America
      • Equality: First abolitionist newspaper (The Liberator, Boston, 1831)
      • Environment: First Public Park (Boston Common, 1634) in America
      • Safety: First Lighthouse (Boston Harbor, Hull, 1716) in America
    • The MA tree can have the state:
      • Tree as the design: American Elm
      • Bird on the tree: Chickadee
      • Flower growing on / next to the tree: Mayflower