Aurora is an interactive kinetic ceiling that responds to corporeal movement below it. The project is part of a research collaboration between MEML lab and SteelCase Inc. that explores the future of the built environment.

How might we imagine a space that can develop an understanding of its users through their sounds and movements and respond accordingly?

This installation is an attempt to address these question through the design of an interactive kinetic wall. One of the main contributions of this work is to explore how a physical environment can change its shape in response to the speech recognition of users.

Close-up of the installation

The central focus is the relationship between materials, form, and interactive systems of control. It is an attempt to explore how simple elements in our surroundings can change their physical configuration as we interact with them. The installation consists of ‘skin’ (Spandex), ‘bones’ (aluminum strands), and ‘muscles’ (shape memory alloy springs) augmented with a ‘brain’ (i.e. Arduino microcontroller and Microsoft Kinect).

Participant interacting with the installation

Video documentation of the design process.

  • Behnaz Farahi
  • Laura Cechanowicz
  • Nicole Ives
Live performance on installation