Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Ahmed Youssef + Mecayla Bruns + Kalina Toffolo, Research Proposal

Ahmed Youssef + Mecayla Bruns + Kalina Toffolo
26 September 2006


Research Agenda:
Our intention is to design and create a multifunctional wall surface which reacts to the presence of people and translates their presence into a deformation of the surface and/or a change in lighting effects. This surface and light interactive installation will serve the purpose of conveying information for security and safety concerns as well as for a interactive installations We hope to apply these installations in a variety of public spaces in order to test results and refine the applications. This installation could be used at any/all sites, places and/or buildings where security is an issue such as: airports, train stations, government buildings, school buildings, places of worship, national monuments, landmarks, etc.

Research Proposal:
Our proposal is to arrange an array of metal sensors and possibly other sensors that will detect the presence and movement of people and process that information through the installation. We will focus however, on the output of these sensors in the form of surface movement and the reaction of light emitting diodes (L.E.D.’s). The installation will be made of a material that is flexible in nature and perhaps translucent, perforated or wire framed to allow for an added effect of lighting change.

There will be a horizontal array of motion detectors that will read the movement of people passing by and process that motion which will be output as deformation(s) on a surface that is equal in length to the array of motion detectors. Depending on the type of surface being used, the deformation(s) can range from undulations, compressions, stretches, pushes, pulls, influxes, etc.

Along with translating motion through deformations, the installation will convey information through the change in lighting effects. Linked to the motion detectors will be metal detectors that read the presence of metal much like the wands used for security purposes. The detection of metal will be processed and output through the variation of colors of light. For example, if there is no metal detected the output light color could be blue, if there is metal detected the light color could be red; the more metal detected, the more intense the light would be. Research will be conducted on different light sources for this purpose and how light reacts to electrical pulses. In addition, we will experiment with a variety of surface materials such as metal clad, woven textile matter, and plastics.
Finally, it is also our goal to use low cost, low energy, and sustainable materials and power sources in order to create an architectural installation which is self-sustaining and low maintenance.

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