Public Art

Responsive Lighting with Arduino, Firefly and Grasshopper by Daniel Giuffre

With the advent of technology, the line between the real and the virtual is becoming progressively blurred. We interact with the virtual on a day to day, hour to hour, minute to minute basis -smart phones, software and the web have become a woven and essential part to the way we live.

The Green Bridge concept proposal enabled us to explore basic principles of interaction and communication between the virtual and the physical, which is crucial in realising the possibilities buildings of tomorrow have in responding to their users, to programmatic requirements and to changes in climate throughout any given year.

Our concept proposal for the Green Bridge public artwork in the Gold Coast was the first step in exploring these themes. The video above demonstrates an effort to begin to understand the potential of responsive buildings through exploring one way of interacting with the digital model.

intensive fields lab arduino

The prototype was developed using an Arduino, an open-source micro-controller, with an ultrasonic sensor for measuring distance. The sensor emits an ultrasound which travels through the air, and if it hits an object it will bounce back to the sensor. The distance is then calculated by considering the speed and travel time of the ultrasound.

 The lighting was intended to be actuated through sensors on the bridge, enabling the bridge to interact and communicate with the heart of the cultural centre, HOTA.

As people cross the bridge to enter the precinct, their movement will create effects through the lights. This acts as a beacon that communicates to those already within the cultural centre that people are entering.

Pedestrians and cyclists pass through a gateway threshold as they approach Gold Coast’s Home of the Arts Precinct. The ribbon like structure wraps around the bridge and continues on overhead to create a sense of welcome, identity and presence.

The artwork aims to form a point of arrival as an activated beacon within the precinct, celebrating the views over the lake towards the HOTA site.