Case Study: Public Art

Ephem.AR is a public art network that is made up of AR art installations in public spaces. Users can look up locations of the art installations and visit them while they are on display.


Ephem.AR’s public art installations can take any form and appear anywhere in the city. This includes overhanging the street or placed on subway tracks. Viewers of these installations may be distracted from risky situations by the artwork.

This app uses a combination of the Barrier and the Suspension approaches. Approaching the hazard zone activates a safety barrier. Moving beyond the safety barrier removes the artwork until the user returns behind the barrier.

Application of Principles


As users move closer to the barrier, a secondary barrier appears to escalate the warning. Cross the barrier leads to deactivation of the artwork.


Backing towards the hazard zone produces a color filter overlay, since the safety barrier itself is not in the user’s field of vision

Beyond Visual:

An energy beam sound effect accompanies the presence of the barrier

UI Responsiveness:

The description card at the bottom hides away as the safety features get activated

Universal Design:

The safety barrier is a form that is easily understandable for users of all backgrounds