Monday, July 16, 2007

M.U.S.C.L.E Project

Date: 2003 Site: Centre Pompidou Paris Design architect: Prof ir Kas Oosterhuis

Design team: Kas Oosterhuis, Ilona Lénárd, Bert Bongers, Chris Kievid, Laura Aquili, Remko Siemerink, Sven Blokker

Engineering: onl, d3bn, Festo, buitink Client: Biennale 2000 Venice, mnam/cci centre pompidou paris

This project utilizes an interface of sensors distributed throughout the inside of the structure. The flexible mesh is suspended between Festo actuated pistons which expand and contract to reshape the structure. The structure reacts to the proximity of the user and becomes a constantly shifting object of space.

Code written into the piston funcitions allow the project to set up a two-way interaction; if the MUSCLE Project approaches a tipping angle, it will contract back to the user and right itself. This sets up an interaction between the user that is not necessarily predictable, and relies upon an external and internal feedback system. This comes in the form of a virtual interface set up through VirTools.

The MUSCLE Project has a manual operation that allows users to manipulate individual pistons on a computer screen for direct effect. The object is reconstructed in a virtual space called VirTools and passerby outside the MUSCLE object can use a touch screen to directly activate different pistons to change form of the object. As this object and its causal chain extend into the virtual, its interface changes and the user may understand the object differently and thus react differently to its dynamics. Users on the interior of the object may also directly activate the pistons by proximity which sets up a three-way dynamic between the outside users, the MUSCLE object, and the users on the interior. This is an excellent example of how the virtual may enable a different type of interaction to occur (in this case a three way interaction). As SecondLife architects, it is not difficult to see how we could produce a similar kinetic effect between SL and RL.

1 comment:

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