Initial situation — Between 2008 and 2013, the SchloßPlatz in Berlin was a huge empty urban space. It had emerged out of the demolition of the Palace of the Republic and had been since then filled by the rebuild of the Berliner Stadtschloss. Over this period of time, various interim use concepts have been explored in order to attract visitors and liven this very well placed, but rather massive green area.
Approach — In collaboration with architects, we developed different installation concepts that would enable visitors to collectively reshape the space they have entered. In practice, we have constantly tried to create spatial systems which would generate temporary spaces patterns, through physical artefacts and/or light.
Result — The final step in our design process is Urban Weave, a network of electroluminescent wires tied on a grid of rotating pylones that are influenced by the noise generated by the visitors. The impulses trigger waves that spread within the network. Those may collide with one another and will progessively fade out.
In collaboration with Roland Heuger
Supervised by Prof. Reto Wettach and Prof. Markus Löffler at the University of Applied Sciences Potsdam, Germany
The basic element of the installation is a spanned web of electroluminescent wire which is attached to a grid of rotatable metal poles. As the poles are bended, the head of the pole is pushed away from the centre - the result is an eccentric movement which deforms the cable web. In the case two poles are oriented toward each other, the cables sag, if the poles are oriented in opposed directions, the cable is spanned.
We programmed various 3D experiments in Processing in order to probe interactions between the installation and the visitors as well as explore different kinds of rasters for the illuminated network.
In order to reduce the risks associated with the construction of a functional prototype, we chose to proof our concept with a "low res" prototype at the chosen scale (1:66). It helped us, for example to refine the choice of the final raster.
We designed and etches our own electronic: a shield for an Arduino Mega and 6 double-sided circuit boards - each of which to control 3 motors (we worked with Fritzing and Eagle).
Urban Weave is the last step of a design process involving very different installation concepts meant to be influenced by the actions of the visitors. Beforehand, we sucessively envisioned and prototyped temporary spaces delimited by waving plastic ribbons sustained vertically using airflow or different structures sustaining vertically-moving lighting elements.