‘Aperture’ is a reactive ceiling installation designed and fabricated from the bottom up to sample and amplify movement. ‘Aperture’ extrapolates the stride of a moving subject; celebrating it through the kinetic actuation of 20 radial fans. In both office and social environments which have become increasingly insular due to the computer, ‘Aperture’ promotes dynamism by rewarding face time.
The system is comprised of modular cells capped at each intersection by a circular fan. Each fan is deployed by the swing of an acrylic boom arm. Interlocking gears of adjacent boom arms facilitate the synchronization and articulation of fan segments. The electrical system is centered on a microcontroller which receives sensor readings, interprets them algebraically, and outputs directions to 20 servo motors.
The design process followed an iterative loop from parametric modeling to digital fabrication. With the utilization of parametric modeling, a single digital model was adjusted to precise machining tolerances without redrafting. Utilizing CNC milling and laser cutting, multiple prototypes were developed in rapid succession. Electronics were prototyped on a breadboard and then transferred into a custom project enclosure. Coding was undertaken in basic, compiled to hex, and then loaded as binary onto the micro controller with a hardware programmer. Because all aspects of the build from gear ratios to coding were a production of the designer, they were readily accessible for adjustment and modification.
The interdisciplinary team headed by Matt Flamm leveraged computation throughout the design and prototyping process to:
actuate mechanical movements (using BASIC scripting along with small-scale physical computing equipment);
resolve geometry, patterning, and mechanical tolerances via parametric design information;
fabricate components for prototyping using CNC equipment.
Location: Muncie, Indiana