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Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL

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IALab commissioned to build The Edge of Chaos

IALab commissioned to build The Edge of Chaos

On October 25th at the Cinekid Festival in Amsterdam, the Bartlett’s Interactive Architecture Lab was awarded an art commission of €15,000 for their immersive installation proposal “Edge of Chaos”.  It is one of three original artworks commissioned from 170 entries from 106 countriesto the “Supernatural: stories of worlds to come” international call for projects. The interactive installation will go on tour around Europe in 2018 beginning in Paris at la Gaîté Lyrique, before heading to Cinekid Festival, Amsterdam, and KIKK Festival in Namur, Belgium. The Interactive Architecture Lab’s proposal designed by Researcher Vasilija Abramovic & Director Ruairi Glynn, was developed in partnership with engineer Bas Overvelde of the Soft Robotic Matter Group at AMOLF, Amsterdam. Its early development was supported by the Bartlett Architecture Projects Fund as a part of an ongoing research into “Multi-Stable Soft Robotic Structures” (PI Ruairi Glynn, UCL Bartlett, CI Helge Wurdemann UCL Mechanical Engineering). 

About the “Edge of Chaos”

What happens between order and chaos? The installation invites people into a theoretical mathematic space, made tangible using sensory networks and responsive kinetic structures. Visitors cross between the boundaries of mathematical spaces represented by material structures, to experience the balance point between highly ordered and turbulent systems. On the Edge of Chaos, complexity science has been exploring the space in which communicative and self-organising systems appear – a space in which life can emerge. The installation harnesses transformable geometries from the Soft Robotic Matter Group directed by Bas Overvelde that IALab has been examining for applications in responsive kinetic architecture.

In the Edge of Chaos, rather than assembling the building blocks in a precise and systematic way, the “Edge of Chaos” installation mimics the design process of the future, where new materials, technology and ideas will emerge from turbulent processes and where artificial intelligence plays a major role. Installation consists of 3 features, a kinetic tree representing “Life”, an interactive surface representing the “Edge of Chaos”, and a surrounding “Cloud” representing the building blocks of our vast and chaotic universe, from which life springs forth. The “Edge of Chaos” is where the interaction with the public occurs. 200 kinetic geometries networked together form a haptic interactive surface that can be triggered into lighting up and physically transforming. Local haptic interactions by members of the public, trigger chain reactions throughout the entire surface that depending on the level of interaction and current state of the surface will produce ordered patterns, or rather chaotic sequences. When the “Edge of Chaos” surface becomes fully activated the tree comes to life.

The Edge of Chaos by Interactive Architecture Lab & Soft Robotic
Matter Group (Lead designers Vasilija Abramovic, Ruairi Glynn and
Studio Overvelde) [uk/netherlands]

About the call:

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