Jan 2014 - Workshop and interactive light installation by Future Cities Lab
Leaders: Jason Kelly Johnson and Ripon DeLeon
Working with Tulane University students over three days we fabricated and deployed a 32' x 32' x 9' tall 3D matrix of 875 individually addressable RGB LEDs. The intent was to create a platform for dynamic spatial experimentation: luminous forms that can be generated by a variety of static and dynamic inputs including real-time sensor data, social media inputs like Twitter, and connecting the light matrix directly to CAD (using the Firefly for Grasshopper plug-in) or related programs to simulate a range of forms, patterns and more. Vertical light quills were fabricated and installed in the Gibson Quad at Tulane opposite the School of Architecture.
- Day 1 (Fri Jan 17): 10am Group Meeting; 12pm Lunch; 1pm Lecture and Panel Discussion; 2:30pm Workshop covering the use of LEDs, electronics and basic wiring; 4pm Begin CNC milling; 7pm Dinner break.
- Day 2 (Sat Jan 18): 10am Group Meeting and begin fabrication of the vertical quills and LED production, CNC milling 25 "quadpod" stands (see Image 5 below), prep Gibson Quad site; 5pm LED Matrix testing (indoors); 7pm Dinner break.
- Day 3 (Sun Jan 19): 10am Outdoor installation in Gibson Quad; Group testing of variable inputs; 1pm begin final testing; 7-8pm Final Luminous Forms Opening party.
HARDWARE WE WILL EXPLORE
1. NeoPixel Digital RGB LED Weatherproof Strip (product link) from Adafruit Industries
2. Arduino Mega microcontroller (product link) from Adafruit Industries
3. Arduino Mega electronics prototyping shield (product link)
4. 18/3 "thermostat" stranded wire (product link) from Home Depot (18 ga, 3 wires)
5. 24/4 "intercom" multi-color solid core wire (product link) from Radioshack
6. 4-wire inline connectors (product link)
7. 1" and 3/4" dia Acrylic tube from ePlastics
8. 1" inner dia. Grey PVC Conduit (product link) from Home Depot
9. 1/2" thick MDF sheets (product link) from Home Depot
10. 30 Amp 5v Power Supply (product link) from Jameco
SOFTWARE WE WILL EXPLORE
1. Arduino Software (program electronics with code)
2. Rhino + Grasshopper (graphical algorithm editor)
3. Firefly Plug-in (control Arduino with Grasshopper) video link
4. Others that the workshop participants want to explore
SOME USEFUL LINKS
1. What is an LED?, Soldering basics, electronics tutorials and other basic Arduino links
2. Good books to order: Getting Started with Arduino, Make: Electronics, and others
3. Work we admire: LED artist Jim Campbell; Immaterial sensing Wifi; 3D light matrices by James Clar
4. Other smaller LED matrix projects: 4x4x4 and 15x15x15.
EXPERIMENTAL MODES OF INTERACTION & INPUT
This is a preliminary list of the modes we are hoping to experiment with using the Luminous Forms installation. Small group of 5-6 students will be in charge of developing a mini-project that explores one of these unique modes of input combined with a specific light quill arrangement.
1. Live interactions using IR Sensors or other sensors
2. iPad interaction with TouchOSC (to be confirmed)
3. Animated object simulation w/ Rhino (digital storeypole?)
4. Twitter (similar to "tweet 2 form")
5. Kinect Depth Track to create topographies
6. Live webcam input using Grasshopper / Firefly
7. Image to Heightfield (also using Grasshopper)
8. Waveforms or Flocking using Processing
9. Gyroscope input with wireless XBee