Navigating People Safely Through Public Places
Guido is an interactive installation that provides a mesmerising, yet functional experience in any transitional space. Given the current context of the COVID-19 pandemic, we imagine a future where social distancing remains an everyday practice in our society. Combined with perpetual stress introduced by work and studies, people lack restorative moments to themselves. With this in mind, the installation is designed to simultaneously guide its visitors at a safe distance, while providing a short moment of escapism and relaxation. Composed of a large-scale, yet intricate, hanging canopy which reacts to the presence of visitors, Guido transforms any mundane day-to-day transitional space into an engaging, unique experience.
The average working person receives more than 200 messages, emails, and calls a day. With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting shift into a more virtual, less physical world, these numbers have only increased. Public spaces have thus gained an importance and significance that calls for a redesign: providing visitors with an interactive environment that does not only promote co-existence but also has an enriching and refreshing effect on its users. Upon a visitor approaching, the installation responds with an opening motion of its mesh structure, inviting them to follow along. This mesh layer consists of intricate and convoluted individual node units. Subsequently, by the local lifting and lowering motions of the mesh of nodes and the resulting modified topology, Guido gently navigates its users along dynamically computed paths by giving way and creating space. The focus of the installation shifts to its visitors and their behaviour. In doing so, Guido makes its users feel like a diver within a diverging school of fish, providing a fully immersive experience. Through their interconnectedness and flexibility the nodes create coherence throughout the installation, cultivating organic movement. Ranging from the soft- and hardware components down to the node design, each unit of Guido is designed in a modular way, allowing for the installation to be easily replicated and altered into any shape or size.
Team members : Cin Yie Chang, Iris Damen, Hugo van Dijk, Angela Hanna, Jos van der Velden, Marina Wiemers and Philip Wüst
Supervisor : Wouter van der Hoog, Lorenzo Romagnoli
Institution : Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)
Partners : Science Centre Delft
Technical concept : The current prototype of Guido currently consists of nearly 1000 wooden nodes, 21 stepper motors and 8 Arduinos to interactively move the node structure. Facilitated by the triangular shape and notches at each anchor-point, the nodes are easily clicked into each other and can be extrapolated into a large-scale, blanket-like structure. Due to the alternating normals of the designed nodes, the mesh gains both depth and flexibility. Users of Guido are detected using Time of Flight sensors which, upon triggering, send the data to central control unit which computes an optimal path generation via a sophisticated and dynamic algorithm and forwards its output to the corresponding motors that eventually raise and lower the mesh at the corresponding points.
Visual concept : The experience Guido provides is inspired by the analogy of swimming through a school of fish. United by their uniformity, the myriad of small fish forms one big entity which collectively opens a path for a diver to follow and establishes an interplay between different forces. Finding themselves amidst this phenomenon, the diver is entirely encapsulated by the captivating experience. Furthermore, Guido is incredibly eye-catching and it is the visual quality of this installation is what lures people in. The organic, wave-like movements persuade people to take a closer look. At night, spotlights on the frame shine lights onto the mesh. These lights add blue, green and purple colours and cast shadows on the floor. It enhances the aesthetic quality and attracts attention in an otherwise dark environment.