RAVESpace (Reactive, Acoustically Variable, Expanding Space)(2007) is both an interactive installation/instrument and a small-scale model for a project of architectural proportions. Tasked with creating a prototype for a kinetic, responsive building, a group of several architects and a single musician imagined a concert hall that could expand and contract according to occupancy and its environment. During performances, the internal shape and proportions of the hall could also be manipulated by musicians in order to modulate the acoustic characteristics of the space.
The tabletop version features four infrared ranging sensors, data from which is mapped to control LEDs and servo motors linked to a vaulted scissor structure. The sensor data also modulates the tempos and formant frequencies of sequences of sampled sounds. The audio emanates from two speakers embedded within the structure. The configuration and mapping strategies give rise to a creature-like behavior, with some movements causing the structure to shift toward the visitor (as if curious), and others causing it to recoil (seemingly afraid). Created in collaboration with architecture students in Jason Johnson’s Robotic Ecologies seminar architecture seminar at the University of Virginia.