We use cookies to give you the best personal experience on our website. If you continue to use our site without changing your cookie settings, you agree we may place these cookies on your device. You can change your cookie settings at any time but if you do , you may lose some functionality on our website . More information can be found in our privacy policy.
Please provide more information.
Stylus no longer supports Internet Explorer 7, 8 or 9. Please upgrade to IE 11, Chrome, Safari, Firefox or Edge. This will ensure you have the best possible experience on the site.
Brief Published: 15 Jan 2013

Interactive ‘Cloud’ Ceiling, New York Hall of Science


New York-based design studios The Living and Softlab and international engineering consultancy Arup recently joined forces to create a high-tech interactive installation at the New York Hall of Science museum titled Common Weathers.

The temporary interactive installation was designed to unite the pieces on display in the museum’s latest exhibition, ReGeneration. Presenting work from 10 US-based artists, it focused on connections between sustainability, culture, urbanisation and immigration – as seen through the lenses of science and art.

Common Weathers consisted of a series of large laser-cut, funnel-like structures suspended from the ceiling, each comprised of about 5,000 panels made from the high-tensile plastic Mylar, and held together by a series of wooden rings. Each panel was positioned slightly differently to allow varying degrees of light to shine through on to the exhibition below.

However, the jewel in the installation’s crown was a set of interactive lights in the centre of the funnels, which reacted by blinking and glowing when questions or comments on the exhibition were submitted via text message.

For more examples of interactive light installations fuelled by social media, see Mood Conductor Updates London Eye Lightshow and London Eye’s Interactive Olympic Lightshow.

For more information on smart materials and the integration of technology and architecture, see our coverage on the Media Facades Summit 2012 and our profile on Cinimod Studio: Architectural Illusionists.

For an additional exploration of interactive spatial design with branding in mind, see New Museums: Learning from Experiential Museum Design.

The New York Hall of Science Museum

The Living