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Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL

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Soft Grid

Soft Grid

Soft Grid is a modular interactive architectural system inspired by Cedric Price’s Fun Palace and Generator Project. It uses an inflatable and configurable kit of parts to create an endless variety of spaces for interaction. Soft grid senses the movement of users through space and uses soft robotic technologies to reconfigure itself. This system is capable of suggesting behaviours: closing off a private space for users, opening up spaces to encourage social congregation.



Soft Grid is an interactive space that uses flex sensors to detect the balloon’s state and relies on solenoid valves to control the inflation and deflation of balloons to interactive with the visitors. The sensing floor perceives inhabitants and inflates and deflates balloons to create pathways for participants to pass through, guiding them into congregation areas. The expansion of the balloons can form protected private spaces. The poles are designed with a nested tube system, combined with spring button clips to connect each other. Soft Grid has the advantages of modularisation and easy assembly. Adjustable height, flexible layout and easy adaptability give the system unlimited possibilities for different social spaces.