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Generative Processes in Architecture and Urbanism

‘Flow’ Interactive Lighting Installation

‘FLOW’ is an interactive lighting installation conceived by an artist/architect collaboration as part the ‘Space Media Festival’ in Taipei, and the Modern Body Festival in Den Haag, The Netherlands. Jeroen van Ameijde and Luis Rodil-Fernández developed an integrated approach for a modular lighting system incorporating movement sensors, and an installation that provokes unusual movements in public urban spaces.

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The location for the initial project was the abandoned and derelict former military personnel residential village on Toad Mountain, Taipei, that through the Space Media Festival and other initiatives is drawing attention to its unique heritage qualities in a bid for preservation of the area rather than redevelopment.

The project started with an exploration of the site guided by professional ‘parkour’ instructors, analysing the urban spaces for potential of unintended types of movement and use. A particular ‘run and jump’ movement was traced and translated to guide the overall configuration of the modular installation.

The interactive lighting installation was conceived as a custom designed component system, using plug and play 3D-printed modules connected by polycarbonate tubing of different lengths to create different densities within the overall formation. The nodes contain microprocessors, LED’s and light sensors to enable specific patterns of dynamic lighting behaviours, triggered by movements of the people underneath.

Through its formation and interactive lighting, the installation sought to provoke alternative readings on use of urban spaces and invited active participation by visitors, aiming to stimulate movement and flow through the project’s site.

After the initial installation in Taipei, the project was dismantled and shipped to Den Haag, where is was re-installed in a different configuration facing the street in front an art gallery. Passers-by walking past the gallery windows triggered dynamic lighting patterns within the structure, inviting them to pause or interact with the installation.

After the testing of the lighting system in these two installations and the positive response from visitors to both locations, the artist and architect creators have decided to further develop the system into a more responsive lighting system that incorporates intelligent monitoring technologies and machine learning.

Credits:
Design coordination by Jeroen van Ameijde and Luis Rodil-Fernández
Design, fabrication and construction assistance by Space Media Festival workshop students
Interaction design and fabrication: Luis Rodil-Fernández with Howard Chen
3D Printing coordination: Jeroen van Ameijde / Sean Wu / See Chin Liang
Supported by the National Taipei University of Science and Technology (NTUST).

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The installation was part of the Modern Body Festival, an event featuring installations, performances and a conference featuring artists and academics.

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The interactive installation features sensor and LEDs in custom designed and 3d printed nodes.

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The installation invited passers-by to interact with the installation, as their shadows cast onto the component triggered dynamic lighting patterns to be displayed.

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The modular system was first installed in Taipei, as part of Space Media Festival, as sister event to the festival in The Netherlands.

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The configuration of the installation was informed by ‘parkours’ movement through the abandoned Toad Mountain village.

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The installation was designed to provoke visitors to recreate similar movements through the site.

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The project aimed to draw visitors to a site with an important heritage value, supporting a campaign for its preservation.

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The abandoned army personnel housing is uniquely located on a small mountain within Taipei, with small housing units arranged around community spaces.

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The installation was built with the help of students from several universities in Taipei, and supported by the National Taipei University of Science and Technology.

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The original movement that informed the Taipei installation was performed by one of the local students wearing specific colours and markers to aid the movement capture and digital analysis using open source software and 3d modelling tools.

FLOW from MaterialCodes on Vimeo.

A short video documentary was also created to document the process of movement recording and translation into construction data using an architectural generative design process.

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