An installation that displays the power usage and water consumption of buildings on CMU's campus

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Wandering Lights

This installation utilizes an amalgamation of analogue and digital techniques and media to create a peripheral display passively visualizing the energy and water usage in Margaret Morrison Carnegie Hall. A combination of hand drawn and projected visuals, digital modelling, laser-cutting, and hand fabrication came together to make this project possible. 

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Testing the projection on black paper during class to figure out the correct background

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We wanted from the beginning to focus largely on the animation in Touchdesigner, but wanted to ground the installation with a physical piece that integrated well with the animation. Inspired by the work of Joanie Lemercier, we decided to draw the outlines of the piece on the projection screen - creating a physical artwork that is interesting even when the projection is tame. 

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Render of Wandering Lights in the College of Fine Arts main hallway

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Render of Wandering Lights in the University Center outside the Conan Room
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The script utilizes a deffered lighting GLSL shader by Matthew Ragan to create the particle lighting effect in Touchdesigner. The model it illuminates is was created using a dendroid simulation script in grasshopper with anemone. We took data provided to us by the instructors of the class, and used it to control the birth rate of the particles, and the color based on a predefined gradient palette. One instance of the script represented energy usage, and the second represented water consumption. This was then projection-mapped using kantan-mapper to fit the constraints of our fabricated frame. 

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48-734 Reactive Spaces and Media Architecture

· 21 members

How can embedded computation change the way we experience our surroundings? This class will focus on the design and prototyping of reactive spaces. Over the course of several small projects and one...more


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An installation that displays the power usage and water consumption of buildings on CMU's campus