Looking Out – Ammani


Points is a directional signpost designed by BreakfastNY. It provides curated directions/information depending on what you’re looking for, events in your area, tweets and transportation options using the form factor of a common sign post. It can be installed anywhere and someday might replace the common signposts found everywhere.

The product is at an interesting intersection of bits and atoms. It incorporates technology and interaction seamlessly with already existing elements in our environment in a functional and informative way.


Luminaries is a public lighting display designed by the Rockwell Group and installed in lower Manhattan. The installation is meant to encourage the user to “pause, reflect and look to the future”. They are trying to create a new holiday custom which is collaborative and community centric. Visitors to the square can send wishes to the canopy of lights through 3 glowing wishing stations which signal the pattern of lights that will appear.

A video of the installation can be found here.


This project caught my eye because it’s interactive and can simultaneously be enjoyed by spectators. It’s eye-catching but subtly so and can be enjoyed for hours without requiring input from its visitors.

The project can be found here.

Looking Out_01


BALLS! Is an interactive installation piece in which mechanically directed light spheres move based on data gathered from within the building, using input from physical sensors that measure energy consumption, number of people working, internet traffics, meeting room noise levels, and the amount of coffee being consumed. The staff working in the building played an important role in determining various behaviors for the motion and application of the spheres. This type of passive yet constantly changing and moving structure creates a dynamic space that directly feeds off the actions and interactions of the people seeing it, not because they are intending to interact with it, but because it is the everyday interactions of the people in the building, that powers and directs it. In this, they can see their own actions and those of others throughout the building in an exceptional way.

Webpage: http://www.interactivearchitecture.org/lab-projects/balls


Light Touch

What I find fascinating about this piece is the combination of these controlled light systems and the much more (in a way natural) and uncontrollable properties of smoke (in how it moves, and the textures it creates). The relationship between this type of traditional, almost sauna-like setting as an architectural space with the artificial, moving lights creates a very interesting tension between the elements. The smoke and the way it interacts with both elements and rooms (being released when people sit in the back area, increasing in amount to create a haze with the lights) pulls it together into a very interesting single interactive space.

Webpage: http://www.interactivearchitecture.org/lab-projects/light-touch

Looking Out 01



With this project users wear a portable EEG interface on their head which collects brain wave data and maps it to a ceiling grid of steel panels. Tiny hammers, representing the hidden transitory circuits in a human’s body, tap rhythmically onto the backs of steel plates based on the user’s brain activities. As the user attempts to generate more cognitive processes the rhythms are altered. I think Staalhemel is worth talking about because it takes neurological processes which we are otherwise unaware of and develops a tangible art form from that information. Additionally the output is unique for each individual which makes the experience different for each user.

Staalhemel – Steel Sky from Christoph De Boeck on Vimeo.


The Work Comes First


“The Work Comes First” is intended to pay homage to all of the creativity, ingenuity, and patience which goes into developing great work. With this project The Lodge is subtly criticizing how repetitive projection screens and interactive work has become by developing an interactive exhibit which is handcrafted using hardware store materials. Using solenoids and 3-D mapping, users’ hands are tracked and cause the bolts to move in a rippling effect. Overall I think this project is an interesting bridge between emerging media and rudimentary construction.

Looking Out 01 – Willow Hong

Project 1: CLOUD

This is an interactive installation sculpted from 6,000 everyday light bulbs by Canadian artists Caitlind r.c. Brown and Wayne Garrett. The work allows any person to stand underneath the sculpture and control the light by pulling the strings (hundreds of them). As people come in and out to become part of an impromptu team that animates the cloud, they experience various conditions that would trigger other feelings, behaviors and interactions.

I like how this project really blurs the social boundary by encouraging spontaneous participation and collaboration. The use of mass-produced objects as a reference to the materialized city is also well embedded in the project. All exhibited interactions at the site can be viewed as statements about social relations, which I think is a smart approach.

Project Link

Project 2: Transcending Boundaries

In this installation, water is represented by a continuum of numerous water particles. When a person stands on the waterfall they obstruct the flow of water like a rock, and the flow of water changes. The flow of water continues to transform due to the interaction of people. Previous visual states can never be replicated, and will never reoccur.

This project illustrates the transient property of time and space in an aesthetically appealing way. This piece is more about personal reflection than public socialization. The visuals, the sound and the way of interaction for this work are coherently combined to give the audience a very poetic experience.

Project Link

Looking Out 01

In Flanders Fields Museum: Gas

The entirety of this museum in Ypres dedicated to World War I is interactive in some way. The viewer is given a swipe card (An example of a ‘tab’ from our reading.) with the name of a soldier from the war, whom they follow throughout the war during the course of the exhibition:

That, however, is “old hat” for interactive exhibits. More notable is the display about gas attacks. There the visitor enters a space featuring tubes of bubbles containing gas masks that turn from clear to sickly shades of green and yellow, a metaphor for the poison gas:

The colors match the audio, which are a number of recordings of accounts of gas attacks, including Wilfred Owen’s “Dulce et Decorum Est.” (https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/46560/dulce-et-decorum-est) By the standards of such experiential spaces, it’s rather old (over 10 years), and small scale, but it achieves its purpose exceedingly well in conveying the harrowing nature of chemical warfare.




Living Wall – MIT Media Lab

The “Living Wall” allows the user to monitor and control the conditions in a room using only the wallpaper itself. The paper and paint that make up the wall paper are controlled by simple touch. They are linked to a computer system through Arduino sensors.

Living Wall



Looking Out 01 – Qiao Yin


The light installation creates floating graphic objects which animate through space as they do through time. The creators constructed a phantom effect of light with millions calibrated beams.

The visual story follows the journey of a digital form. It begins by passing through the Light Barrier, so that this digital form transcends the limits of its home reality and enters into our physical one. It then explores the possibilities of its new found physicality, whilst attempting to assert its digital identity. Finally, the form travels through the Light Barrier again to pass away to the next reality.

The reason I found it fascinating is that it consists of deliberately calibrated constructions but the visual effect out of light surpasses the physical limitation and creates a gorgeous and phantom-ish feeling, which is beyond those traditional light usage such as projection or physical light tubes.



Spectra-3 by FIELD – Choreographing a physical-digital system

Created by digital design studio FIELD, Spectra-3 is an audio-visual light installation premiering at London’s Lumiere light festival on 14th January, 2016. It is a physical-digital sculpture that tells three stories of communication through a choreography of movement, animated lights and spatialized sound.

It uses a symbol of human seeking for extraterrestrial civilization as the form to present the interconnection among human. And also it’s stunning and visually engaging,  which becomes an Instagram magnet that spurs a social population. The underlying reason for this phenomenon is also worth exploring when it comes to making an installation a social and interavtive attraction.




Looking Out 01 – Morgan

Outdoor Inhouse
Bathroom stall installation

Outdoor Inhouse was an in-house (ha) installation created by Intermedio Studios in 2016 to simulate the almost forgotten act of relieving oneself outside, but in a public bathroom. Motion sensors detected when someone entered a bathroom stall, and then played a field recording taken from outside an actual outhouse in rural Ohio. The installation was meant to target “the controlled, plastic quality of contemporary elimination and it’s isolation from natural environments, while referencing a recently abandoned architectural staple of daily life prior to indoor plumbing.”

I was drawn to this project because it is almost entirely opposite to a typical work of media architecture, which tends to invoke High Art and High Tech. Outdoor Inhouse forces participants to reexamine a mundane act of everyday life in a location where the average person is not “primed” to experience a work of media.

Outdoor Inhouse


SUN was a project created by Dutch artist Philip Schutte as a playful exercise in self-generated landscapes. Sensors capture the movement of a giant ball controlled by the user, and reflect and distort light through the “atmosphere” backdrop based on the ball’s relative position to the horizon.

I particularly like SUN because of the artist’s fascination with world-building. According to the an interview in the Creative Applications blog, Schuette was inspired by rendering algorithms for world generation in a video game. Because the position of the sun has such a powerful emotional effect on people, the ability to move the sun and alter the emotional landscape of a scene is a way for the user to create a personalized emotive environment.

Philip Schuette

Looking Out 01

Stella Artois: Give Beautifully

This interactive light installation was designed by UNIT9 for Stella Artois’ global Christmas campaign ‘Give Beautifully’. It was released December of 2015. The concept was to create a space that gave city dwellers a canopy of stars that they otherwise would not be able to experience due to the mass amount of lights in the city during the night.


The installation is 20m x 20m and consists of clusters of interactive and kinetic stars. The floor is made of glass so the stars can reflect off of it and double the impact of the stars: creating a sense of infinite amount of stars.

There were three types of stars that differed in sizes and functionality: largest ones were kinetic globes; small static globes; and a cloth dotted with hundreds of LEDs stars. When the audience raised their arms towards the sky, the movement triggers the large stars to descend down towards them.

Five of the large kinetic stars were extra special. When the audience reaches for one of those particular stars, they flash white and a hidden camera captures a picture of the people reaching up from below.


The Event of a Thread

This installation by Ann Hamilton was shown at the Park Avenue Armory in New York. The center piece of this installation involves 42 swings hung from the ceiling. The swings are divided into two fields by a large white curtain that bisects a 55,000 sq.ft. hall.  The swings are connected to each other and the curtain via ropes and pulleys. A visitor’s momentum on the swing  activates a rolling undulation of the curtain. The two fields of swings mirror each other so when corresponding swings are moving at the same time, the undulation of the curtain is enhanced.

Artist Website

Hyperallergic Article

Looking Out 01

The Heart Archive – Christian Boltanski

French artist Cristian Boltanski started this project in 2008, collecting people’s heartbeats around the world as a proof of their existence. The Heart Archive, a small single-installation museum on Teshima Island in Japan, is a site to permanently store and display these heartbeats. Visitors can also record their own heartbeat on site.

The exhibition is made up of three rooms. Recording Room collects visitors’ heartbeat; Listening Room has three computers where you can listen to recorded heartbeats in the archive; Heart Room, which is the most experiential among the three, plays heartbeats from different people, with a light beaming in synchronization with the heartbeats. You will see your own reflection in the mirrors on the wall, in the flickering light.

This project creates a conversation that transcends time and space, in forms of both collective memory and personal narrative. Heartbeat is the very representation of life, and also one of the most intimate sounds of a human body. Listening to the heartbeats was like experiencing the liveliness of another human being.

Listening Room

Heart Room

Volume – SOFTlab

Volume is designed by New York based design firm SOFTlab, using responsive mirrors to “redirect light and sound to spatialize and reflect the excitement of surrounding festival goers(Volume-SOFTlab)”. The installation is comprised of 100 mirror panels with an array of cameras to track the movement of people around the installation. The mirrors will turn to the nearest person, while the sound increases volume when more people approach the project. The light reacts to the ambient sound in the space.

This installation is an experiment using lights and sounds to reconstruct the empty room and blur the lines between ephemeral and physical space. Instead of simply responding to viewer’s movement, it creates a bilateral conversation by staring back at viewers and collaging the viewer’s image back into the space reconstructed by their movement. It not only manifest small vibration of invisible particles floating in the space, but also creates a strong self-awareness of one’s own being.

Looking Out 01 – Leah Jiang



A walking trail through a forest of light and sound that became a tourist destination.
Wanting to showcase its charms, Parc de la Gorge de Coaticook commissioned Moment Factory to create Foresta Lumina, an illuminated night walk through the forest.
After nightfall in summer, visitors are invited to discover an enchanted trail winding 2 km through the woods. As they walk through the mysterious forest, visitors meet characters inspired by the area’s myths and legends, who draw them into an immersive adventure.

The scenography, combining projections and lighting, is accompanied by an ethereal soundtrack. The result is an unparalleled sensory experience. The Moment Factory team custom-made the entire experience, including perforated metal panels resembling ancient manuscripts, lighting units designed to look like fairies, video mapping on natural elements and more. The multimedia installations are seamlessly integrated into the surroundings, creating an all-encompassing sense of magic.

Following 2014’s success, counting over 70 000 visitors – nearly ten times more than the initially estimated foot traffic – Foresta Lumina has once again surpassed its set objectives with more than 145 000 visitors for its second consecutive year. This installation has allowed for a 1800% traffic increase in the region of Coaticook.


LIGHTGRENZE (Border of Lights)

Light art installation for 25 years fall of the Berlin Wall

This installation was built to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Berlin Wall, as creative directors, Christopher Bauder and his brother Marc were commissioned by the city of Berlin to create an extraordinary light installation.

From Nov 7th to 9th 2014, the 15.3-kilometre frontier that once divided the city center was reimagined in light by 8000 balloon lights all developed and produced by WHITEvoid.