High Fire!

High Fire is a set of 4 pairs of mittens that need each other. 4 pairs, 4 people, hands raised, all together, and when they high five or join hands, a stream of electricity courses through them, travels down a wire and ignites a candle, instantly symbolizing their communal bond in the form of the warmth of fire in the winter.

High Fire was developed in response to the design brief of "designing an object using an open-source electronics platform and share the instructions back to its online community."

Teamwork is a crucial component of any effective workplace or learning environment, as it enables the members of the team to pool their energy and resources together to tackle increasingly complex problems. In order to have good teamwork, it is also essential to build trust and constructive communication among the members.

The metaphor of the project is the fostering of an open, cooperative and synergistic environment where the fires of creativity have the sufficient means to be sparked.

High Fire was thus designed as an intervention in this team-building process, a fun way to promote group activities even in the coldest confines of winter. Users are encouraged to create, perform, and share a short series of physical actions that culminate in a full circle of high fives—or the joining of hands—which in turn ignites the candle. The lighting of the candle serves as both a symbolic and physical manifestation of their elevated cooperation. If teamwork is about making connections, then High Fire is an attempt to maintain the spirit of those connections through the warmth of human contact, interaction, and communication.


The step-by step instructions on how to make High Fire is available online at

People are encouraged to make their own version of High Fire, as well as to create, perform, and share their own physical actions/rituals to boost their teamwork and to experience that magical moment of delight when the first sparks of creativity are born.


Special thanks to: Becky Stern for the guidance and support.

Time: 4 weeks (Fall 2014)