OPEN 10AM – 10PM DAILY UNTIL 15 FEBRUARY 2007
"Bubbles" is an open-air interactive installation at Materials & Applications. This site-specific installation is a tactile, responsive environment testing the durability of selected interactive strategies.
The interactive installation is a spatially adaptable pneumatic, or air-filled, environment at an urban scale. The installation consists of large air-bags or “bubbles” that inflate and deflate in reaction to visitors pushing or bumping the lower inflated volume of each pair. As visitors enter and move through the installation, they must navigate through the lightweight 8’ diameter spheres that fill the space. When the bubbles are bumped, sensors initiate a chaotic exchange of air between the spheres. When no visitors are present, the system returns to its stand-by state: the lower bubble in the pair refills with air and awaits another interaction.
The installation brings an adaptive volumetric sense of architecture to the M&A Courtyard that is continuously changing and compelling as it responds to visitors. The adaptability of the bubbles emulates at a super-human scale the organic movement of plant life in response to touch, or thigmotropism.
The structure of this installation tackles volume over surface and interaction with space over static geometry while pushing the scale of interactive architecture. The designers have selected permeable rip-stop nylon to form the bubbles. At the center of each bubble is a hard “seed” made of CNC’d white HDPE plastic and strengthened with monofilament. The seed serves two functions: it contains a micro-fluorescent lighting element to create a glow within each bubble, and it houses the mechanical switch used to trigger the reversible fan that deflates one bubble while inflating another.
Bubbles was created by Foxlin (Michael Fox and Juintow Lin), NONDesigns (Miao Miao and Scott Franklin) and Brand Name Label (Gabriel Renz) with Axel Kilian, Darius Miller, and numerous talented volunteers.