, interactive installation, interactive architecture, cybernetics, responsive architecture, interactive art, digital fabrication, responsive art, responsive installation, living architecture, installation art, soft architecture, kinetic art, kinetic installation, responsive environments, interacitve environments, cyber-physical

Transforming Space: Aegis and Noosphere

Royal Ontario Museum

Toronto, CAN  2018

Transforming Space is composed of two sculptural works — Aegis and Noosphere — in addition to the couture Aeriform dress created by Beesley and his long-time collaborator, the fashion designer Iris van Herpen. “To me this dress is…an expression of the way Philip inspired me to rethink the relationship between our body and the space around us, to remodel the relation between our insides and our outsides,” says Van Herpen. The cloud-like garment composed of laser-cut, hand-molded metal lace was commissioned by the ROM and developed for Paris Couture Week in 2017.

Framing the Aeriform dress and Van Herpen’s retrospective are two sculptural test-bed environments that combine synthetic biology, artificial intelligence, mechanics, sound, light, and filtering systems. The first ‘living lab’ Aegis is named for the fertile veil from ancient Greek myth that protects and shelters all life. This sculptural canopy that cradles the Aeriform dress is composed of a matrix of responsive fronds that cover an innovative flexible structural mesh embedded with artificial intelligence. As the mylar fronds gently stir the air, they activate microprocessors and sensors organized in dense meshes that can learn, adapt, and even show curiosity as they evolve. The artificial intelligence in the sculpture is programmed with a curiosity-based algorithm causing the system to constantly search and find new patterns of behaviour. At the centre of this intricate web is a constantly-changing and evolving intelligent soundscape developed with the sound designer Salvador Breed and 4DSOUND.

Alongside the canopy, the delicate steel and acrylic skeletal mesh of the spherical volumes comprising Noosphere house vessels containing prototype cells that display certain life-like properties. Combinations of oil, inorganic chemicals, and water-based solutions stimulated by LED lights, create chemical skins within these cells that might lead to new kinds of self-renewing skins for future buildings. The structural mesh of the sculpture uses overlapping strands within conical stem-shaped cells that possess extraordinary strength using minimal amounts of material.

Collaborators include University of Waterloo researchers, engineering lead Professor Rob Gorbet, Professor Dana Kulić, and the Living Architecture Systems Studio.

Project Leads

  • Project Lead: Farzaneh Victoria Fard
  • Creative Director: Karen Zwart Hielema
  • Engineering Director: Rob Gorbet
  • Sound Composition: Salvador Breed
  • 4DSOUND: Poul Holleman
  • Production Director: Gabriella Bevilacqua
  • Comptroller: Anne Paxton

LASG Studio

Mehreen Ali
Chelsea Attong
Timothy Boll
Felicity Chan
Timara Douglas
Adam Francey
Mark Francis
Zheh Hu
Hanyang Hu
Luke Kimmerer
Parichit Kumar
Daiwei Lin
Amber Ma
Wenlong Meng
Lingheng Meng
Nikola Miloradovic
Evan Pavka
Tak Pham
Lily Ray
Iris Redinger
Amir Rostami
Nathanael Scheffler
Aleksandra Simic
Alex Willms

Toronto Production (Part-Time)

Cassandra Acnes
Manal Ahmed
Afnan Al-Rashid
Patricia Alves
Zobair Arsala
Omade Aziz
Krista Barleta
Alexa Bautista
Miti Bhavsar
Arshbeep Boparai
Maddie Brimble
Justine Roy Buquiron
Yasmin Camas
Natalie Chan
Miranda Corcoran
Kathleen Crisol
Sareh Daneshian
Eric Dang
Matt Degooyer
Raavi Dhillon
Mohamadou Dibbasey
Michael Duquette
Saijeeni Elangko
Alex Esser
Kyle Feliciano
Bruce Forrest
Eric Francey
Christine Francisco
Aljumaine Gayle
Claire Goble
Lori Goldberg
Raymond Huang
Gileong Jang
Inhye Racheal Jeong
Kelvin Jok
Kamal Kanel
Faisal Karadsheh
Ilsa Khan
Fong Kikid
Nyachira Kinuthia
Tharanketha Kirupa
Diana Koncan
Winniefred Kuang
Renee Kwan
Michelle Lan
Janice Law
Chi Lee
Gladys Lee
Emily Liu
Mitchell Loewen
Sally Lu
Ranni Lykovds
Lena Ma
Georgina Maghari
Ivona Natonska
Wendy Ng
Ed On
Vanessa Paningbatan Cerezo
Louell Parparan
Jessica Provencher
Noah Rose
Noah Rosenblum
Jennifer Ross
Rachel Sau
Tristan Sauer
Meg Sharma
Lisa Shi
Krishant Subramaniam
Wiley Tam
Constance Thirlwell
Grace Tyono
Theo Van Vugt
Hatley Walker
Chanel Wase
Natnael Wondwessen
Candice Wong
Ginny Wong
Jenny Yang
Danielle Zandueta
Jimmy Zhao

Toronto Production (Full-Time)

Ene Agi
Latoya Barrow
Victoria Beck
May Chan
Arusha Chaudhry
Anne Fard
Christine Fard
Maxine Gaa
Samanta Grant
Anne Halbreiner
Shahnewaz Howlander
Jenny Hu
Julia Gorbet
Matt Gorbet
Susan Gorbet
Deena Jamokha
Scott Johnston
Enna Kim
Kaya Kim
Janna Lee
Christian Maidankine
Jen Pham
Ola Saleh
Yanique Stirlin
Fatima Wali
Kyle Wong
Drew Yu

Funding: Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, University of Waterloo, Canada Council for the Arts, Consulate General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Toronto, Ontario Arts Council, Toronto Arts Council, Mitacs. This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 824160.

  • Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada
  • Canada Council for the Arts
  • Canadian Cultural Center Paris
  • Ontario Arts Council
  • Waterloo Architecture
  • Kingdom of the Netherlands
  • European Union Horizon 2020