Sentiment Cocoon is an interactive installation that seeks to capture and express human sentiment through the medium of light. A simple interface allows participants to express how they feel by how they touch. These interactions are then transformed into pulses of light that travel throughout the cocoon.
Sentiment Cocoon aims to represent a collective visualisation of the way people are feeling in the immediate environment of the installation on any given evening. The focus is on the exploration of architectural form, with translucent materials and responsive lighting to facilitate social interaction. Ultimately, the aim is to foster the notion of public spaces as the social centres of our cities.
The lighting design creates an enigmatic display, with ambient light trickling into the cocoon from the sky and blending with light emitted from LEDs. This allows for a rich interaction of varying forms of light, which is diffused through the skin of the cocoon.
The system architecture of the artwork allows for the tracking and displaying of several behaviours. These parameters are encoded into lighting patterns that suggest the collective mood of participants. The sentiments are encoded in different colours and movement. Colour gradients, velocity and movement are represented through patterns. Over time, the patterns become recognizable as the overriding sentiment of the evening.
Sentiment Cocoon is yet another example of the increasing proliferation of media–architectural interfaces mediating architecture with human behaviour. These social applications will ultimately lead to responsive, adaptable and clever buildings that serve human wellbeing.
My role was working with Urban Visuals to develop the lighting visuals for the Sentiment Cocoon. The visuals were programmed using the Processing enviroment with a selection of additional libraries. The Processing application waited for incoming heart beats which were sent to the Raspberry Pi from two podiums at the base of the installation which detected users heart beats.
To help prototype and make sure that the lighting and visuals were going to wrap and match around the 360 degree cylinder.
I wrote a basic simulator also in Processing to help debug and get a better understanding of how the completed installation would behave and look. I also wrote a series of customization commands and the ability to save and load the Sentiment Cocoon visual configuration preferences. Having the ability to tweak some of the visual aspects on site and load and save the installations configuration made turning on and starting the installation every evening more efficient.