Light Forest is the final working prototype of the Architectural Association (AA) DLAB Visiting School, which took place in AA London and AA Hooke Park, a 350-acre working forest in Dorset, south west England, where the AA has a small educational facility centred on a woodworking workshop.
On the ground or on the wall, Light Forest grows and illuminates its surroundings. As a living system it spreads itself through the space and deploys its kinetic calyxes to give light. As an interactive artefact it allows communication between itself and the people around it. Light Forest is a complex body of kinetic parts which alters the perception of space when activated. Introduced in the human environment, the Light Forest comprises of a central nervous system and a tessellated, kinetic surface which allows for by-passers to experience interaction by direct contact.
Using a patterned field of fine filaments, the alien brain of the Light Forest is able to receive external stimuli. The brain then exerts centralized control over the digitally created organs of its structure; these subtle movements on the surface generate various light formations in space. As the different light patterns fill the room, people experience interaction in a way that is as much direct as it is linked to subliminal stimuli.
DLAB experiments with the integration of algorithmic and generative design methodologies as well as with large scale digital fabrication tools. Continuing its color based agenda, DLAB has immersed in blue for its 2013 cycle as a way to investigate natural growth processes in relation to innovative concepts of architectural tectonics and fabrication. Concepts of emergence, differentiation, and complexity have been interwoven with interaction and participatory design in order to create full-scale working prototypes. The programme is formulated as a two-phase process. During the initial phase participants benefit from the unique atmosphere and facilities of AA’s London home. The second phase shifts to AA Hooke Park campus and revolves around the fabrication and assembly of a full-scale architectural intervention which unifies the design aims of DLAB.
AA DLAB 2013 has explored the themes of generative design, kinetic design, interactive design, and large-scale fabrication technologies. During the design process, students have discovered means of how to integrate the diffusion of light with other architectural parameters which are essential in generating diverse spatial qualities. The computational setup for the design explorations has reflected the characteristics of self-organization which are observed on a range of scales in nature. In the context of DLAB’s design task, diffusion elements have become the lower level components inscribed with information relating to their physical constraints, form, reaction to external stimuli, and interaction with one another. Students have observed the behavior of the generative systems with the manipulation of input parameters and the performance of the resulting simulations. The computational toolset of the workshop has been Processing, Grasshopper and Arduino.
The research agenda has been put to test through the use of interactive/ kinetic digital design tools and fabrication technologies, with the aim of transforming static built models to animated kinetic prototypes while considering a more hierarchical design arrangement. By integrating light with movement, the notions of interaction and kinetics in architecture have been revisited. This mode involves the direct interaction of user and the physical structure, but also indirectly includes the interaction of users among themselves through the physical structure.
Programme Director: Elif Erdine
Tutors: Elif Erdine, Alexandros Kallegias, Angel Lara, Foteini Kontoleon, Ciriaco Castro
Students: Jessica Alcantara Rivera, Laura Baza, Alina Bontas, Marcella Carone do Nascimento, Cesar Cheng, Samet Duman, Rodion Eremeev, Eva Haggrén, Omar Ibraz, Carol Kan, Ki Woong Kim, Jin Liang, Ekaterina Nuzhdina, Unha Park, Annika Vaisanen, Xiliu Yang