There is a theory in urban design titled “urban alienation”; that our cities and city events are so large, people can not relate to one another. Architects often are charged with designing at the scale of the building or plaza and are not able to bring a design down to the scale of the individual to catalyze ACTUAL human interaction. I have been exploring ways to bring human scale back to the urban condition- through form and interactive components.
In the summer of 2011, I lectured at AUCB on the history of my work. I also conducted a seminar to explore with interested students both the artistic and architectural concepts inherent in this work. A group of 3rd-year students under Professor Simon Beeson’s direction continued to explore these concepts and ideas throughout the remainder of the year. Needless to say, the opportunity to present a project at the UK Olympics is an ideal setting to explore these concepts with the students.
WHAT IS IT?
The project we have been invited to create is titled “Sonic Rings.” it is composed of 16 columns placed within two concentric circles. Each column will house a series of interactive sensors, computer-controlled full-color LED lights and an audio speaker. The system would be controlled by a computer in a nearby “soundhouse.” As people walk up and touch one of the columns, he will trigger lights and sound-score composed of melodic and environmental sounds.
As part of this Festival, this installation will run 24 hours a day. It is scheduled to be placed along the main thoroughfare in a prime location near the water, next to the Media Center for all the Maritime 2012 Olympic events. “Sonic Rings” will be a great place to sit and have your morning coffee, it will also become a “reference point” of the festival for friends to meet, and,lastly, it will be a “happening place” to hang out late at night and listen to the sounds of spontaneous drum-jams inside the Rings.