The Experience Desk

Quest Alliance is a non-profit committed to empowering young people with 21st century skills by enabling self-learning. They work with government schools to create joyful learning spaces, and vocational training institutes to enable young people to connect with the right careers and achieve their dreams.

I led the design and development of The Experience Desk—an installation that recounts the Quest Alliance journey, through the stories of learners, teachers and facilitators they have helped through their initiatives. The Experience Desk was showcased at the Quest2Learn Summit held at the National Institute for Advanced Studies, Bangalore, and is now being developed into a tangible learning tool for children.

Shreya Garg
Ashis Panday
Shreya Toshniwal
Concept Design
Interaction design
Physical Computing
Desk Fabrication
Quest2Learn Summit 2017


The student desk has been the trusty sidekick to the journey of the student. The setting for many adventures, the repository for all found curiosities, and a level playing field for made up games. It was therefore the best metaphor on which to build our story of self learning.


Constructed out of stained ply, The Desk is dismantle-able from the legs and is portable for easy transportation across venues. 


On its surface, The Desk has four slots of different shapes in which the characters would sit to activate their stories. A crank on the side is used to operate and explore the narratives. The Characters are made of felt and and an inexpensive teak base, the characters represent the Yellow Learner, Green Teacher, Blue Facilitator, and Orange Toolkit. A knob is turned to switch between schools and training institute settings.


The Frontend was built on HTML and each character had a separate HTML page. A local Node.js server in the raspberry pi picked up the unique inputs from the Arduino and LEDs and chose which HTML pages to display. The crank inputs were also controlled similarly.


The Desk housed an Adruino controlling IR Led Diodes for each character. The Arduino and a rotary mechanism for the crank were all connected to a raspberry pi. Space for a pico projector, and a compartment for storing the characters was also provided.

Process & Display

The Process began with understanding the quest ideology through interviews with the team and visiting the schools. The hardware was then identified and prototypes were made. The fabrication was made in house. The Experience Desk was launched at the Quest2Learn Summit—part of Quest Alliance strategy to incorporate technology in their learning environment.