Revolving Games

Michelle Ma’s Revolving Games is a location-based game and public intervention that displays a revolving door’s “high score” in revolutions-per-minute, altering the behavior of passersby in sometimes dramatic ways.


This crafty measuring device is meant to draw attention to the daily usage of revolving doors at Carnegie Mellon’s University Center building. It logs the time, proximity, and speed (RPM) data of people’s interactions with the revolving doors, but also incites a little competitive spirit on its free voltage. Michelle writes: “As I developed my idea, I wanted to convey more useful information about my subjects, the revolving doors. My research, which had initially started from simply ‘doing interesting calculations with accelerometers’, shifted to the goal of bringing attention to these mundane doors that we pass through without a second thought.”

Revolving Games was supported by a microgrant from the Frank-Ratchye Fund for Art @ the Frontier (FRFAF)— an endowment founded to encourage the creation of innovative artworks by the faculty, students and staff of Carnegie Mellon University. With this fund, the STUDIO seeks to develop a cache of groundbreaking projects created at CMU — works that can be described as “thinking at the edges” of the intersection of disciplines.

Michelle Ma is currently a first-year undergraduate at CMU, studying Fine Arts and Computer Science in the BCSA degree program.