Steven Bai

Selected Recent Projects by Steven Bai


Trace is a playful urban installation, it illuminates The Galeries (a shopping centre in Sydney CBD next to Hilton hotel and Queen Victoria Building) with an interactive wall of light. In the last decade, a growing number of research fields, including media architecture, human-computer interaction and interaction design, began to study the integration of digital technologies and media into the built environment. This propagates the idea that technologies are entering all aspects of our daily lives. The design of technologies is thus no longer limited to the work realm and office environments.
Large 10m wide by 2.5m high, LED matrix with about half a million LED pixel dots feed on audience movement to produce a real-time artistic response manifested in dancing ripples of light. Augmented with motion tracking technologies and custom-built signal mapping system, visitors are invited to pause, crouch, pose and jump in front of the exhibition and experience the colourful visual spectacle unique to their interaction. The display will also continue to evolve naturally as its hues reflect different times of day and its configuration is designed to change over time.This progressive application of technology not only creates a dialogue between the centre and its customers that is personal and engaging; but it was designed to reinforce The Galeries’ proposition as a place of discovery and play.
We love the concept of play – an instinctive trigger for human actions, and we believe that there are many opportunities in today’s cities to turn existing infrastructures into playful urban installations and urban prototypes. I see every piece of work that we do as a step further towards better understanding how playful urban installations can contribute to life and liveability in cities of the 21st century.



TetraBIN™ re-imagines traditional city bins through game thinking with the aim to tackle the problem of littering by making the disposal of rubbish fun and rewarding. Reminiscent of 8-bit era video games, it maps the disposal of rubbish to interactions within a game world displayed on a computer-controlled LED screen wrapped around the bin. Custom-made sensors inside the bin are triggered every time a piece of rubbish is dropped into the bin. As the rubbish is submerged into the bin a digital building block is released from the top edge of the LED screen.


This augmentation transforms the otherwise trivial act of disposing of rubbish as the participant must drop their rubbish at the right moment to advance further in the game. Once an entire row is filled with building blocks it disappears, making room for more blocks. The game mechanics are intentionally loose to allow participants making up their own game rules. For instance, participants can collaborate to create a vertical stack, which restarts the game, or compete by each creating their own vertical stacks.


Beyond reducing litter, TetraBIN invites passers-by into brief social interactions and to consider environmental issues in the city. With the falling costs of today’s technologies and more people living in urban environments, pieces of urban furniture can be turned into intelligent objects that sense information and interactions around them and convey meaningful messages or information back into the cityscape in playful way. TetraBIN opens up many possibilities for connecting the concept of Internet of Things with Augmented Reality to create cutting edge technology that not only motivates positive behaviour but also enhances experiences in the urban environment.


Project website:

Steven Bai is an award-winning, anti-disciplinary designer, creative technologist and interaction design researcher. He has a passion for motivating sustained changes in people’s everyday behaviours by creating immersive experiences that are useful, meaningful, playful and memorable. Having lived in many different cities before settling in Sydney, his cross-cultural background has also shaped his creative vision on how to strategically design for different cultures and demographics.


Steven completed his Bachelor of Design Computing with First Class Honours at the University of Sydney, and his Honours research in persuasive technology was awarded with the University Medal. His contributions to the international community were recognised by the John C Harsanyi Medal in 2015.


Having worked in the creative industry since 2011 on cross-platform projects and interactive media installations, Steven’s practice investigates the role of design-led innovation and technology in shaping our lives and experiences in everyday environments. He is deeply involved with the startup business scene and has helped several startup companies from a creative point of view. He has also been contracted to work with some of the world’s largest technology companies, on projects that serve multi-million users across mobile and tablet, desktop, IPTV, InFlight Entertainment Systems, the IoT and Urban Inventions.


His work has been featured in international exhibitions and conferences, including Beijing Design Week 2015, Vivid Sydney, Tin Sheds Gallery Sydney, and the Sydney Overseas Terminal. His talks and interviews have also featured in mainstream social blogs and media including PSFK, ABC Channel, National Geographic Channel, Sydney Morning Herald and Business Insider. He also developed the initial idea for TetraBIN, an augmented reality trash can, which (the initial prototype) was exhibited at Vivid Sydney – the world’s largest festival of light and ideas, with 1.4 million people attending in 2014.



Steven has been recognised by the following selected awards and initiatives.


Sydney Design Awards Steven Bai            SXSW Interactive Innovation Awards Steven Bai            Interaction Awards 2015 Steven Bai            AIMIA Awards Steven Bai            Mindtrek-Steven-Bai


Write us an Email
Call us
+61 401 788 092


Sydney, Australia




"It's not that I'm so smart, it's just that I stay with problems longer." - Albert Einstein

Drop us a line:

Your name

Your email


Your message

Human detector

Steven Bai © 2022