Wednesday, July 30, 2008

They have a FLARE for kinetic movement...

Some of you might know my obsession for the pneumatically actuated installation known as Hyposurface. I can't figure out if it's the flow or limitless functional possibilities that intrigues me more, but I'm fascinated by every color, click and wave.

Recently, a robot junkie peep of mine in San Fransisco pointed me to the water sculptures of William Pye and, for whatever reason, I was reminded more so of the mechanical movement in Hyposurface than the organic, hypnotic movement of Pye's water sculptures.

Call it an obsession with simulated movement, but for whatever reason, I'm more impressed with technological mimicry than its natural brethren. So I decided to go back to the Hyposurface concept and see if there was anything new on the market.

Needless to say, I'm in love with a new piece of technology. Take one part wall curtain, two parts stealth bomber, multiply by peyote and you've got:

FLARE: Kinetic Ambiant Reflection Membrane

FLARE turns the building facade into a penetrable kinetic membrane, breaking with all conventions of the building surface as a static skin. The FLARE system consists of a number of tiltable metal flake bodies supplemented by individually controllable pneumatic cylinders.

Due to the developed pattern, an infinite array of flakes can be mounted on any building or wall surface in a modular system of multiplied FLARE units.

Each metal flake reflects the bright sky or sunlight when in vertical standby position. When the flake is tilted downwards by a computer controlled pneumatic piston, its face is shaded from the sky light and this way appears as a dark pixel.

By reflecting ambient or direct sunlight, the individual flakes of the FLARE system act like pixels formed by natural light. The system is controlled by a computer to form any kind of surface animation. Sensor systems inside and outside the building communicate the buildings activity directly to the FLARE system which acts as the buildings lateral line.

Read more about FLARE Facade HERE.