Lightswarm

HOW CAN OUR BUILDINGS RESPOND TO DATA AND BECOME INFORMATIVE AND DYNAMIC URBAN INTERFACES?

Lightswarm is an interactive light installation in a state of perpetual flux. Responding to sounds harvested from the YBCA grand lobby and the surrounding city, the site-specific artwork activates the south facing façade with playful swarms of light. During the day filtered sunlight produces ever-changing patterns of shadow, while in the evening the façade is transformed in a dynamic electro-luminescent composition visible from the interior lobby, the garden and the city beyond. Sound sensing spiders, attached directly to individual glass panels in the lobby, transform the facade into what the artists call, “… urban sensors - instruments to sense the city, visualize its auditory pulse, and amplify its latent energies into cascades of light.” Real-time data collected from these sensors is used to inform a swarming algorithm which guides patterns of streaming light. The result is a new form artificially intelligent façade: a smart surface that can sense, compute, respond and interact with its surroundings. Lightswarm consists of 430 unique suspended light modules that can individually change their intensity and color. Each module is created from 3d-printed components, custom electronic elements, addressable LED strips, and laser-cut skins made out of recyclable PET plastic and synthetic paper.

Design: FUTUREFORMS, Jason Kelly Johnson & Nataly Gattegno

Team: Ji Ahn, Fernando Amenedo, Nainoa Cravalho, Ripeon DeLeon Jeff Maeshiro, Katarina Richter

Curator: Betti-Sue Hertz

Commissioned by: Yerba Buena Center for the Arts

Select Photography: Peter Prato