Amplifier for Art, Science and Society

Video: Julien Gremaud


arc/sec – Uwe Rieger & Yinan Liu

LightSense introduces a new era in responsive architecture, fusing a lightweight structure with 3D holographic animations of its digital twin. Driven by a neural network that was trained on 60,000 poems, this installation offers visitors a unique and intimate experience with a living architectural body. LightSense is designed to engage its visitors in personal communication. Its responses are truly associative, unpredictable, meaningful, magical, and deeply emotional. LightSense listens with interest and curiosity before responding from a personal viewpoint.

Analysing the emotional tenor of this conversation, the system transforms into a series of architectural volumes that immerse the visitors in spaces of love, anger, curiosity, and joy.

The 12-metre-long kinetic construction comprises two aluminium frames that support tensioned transparent projection screens. Suspended from the ceiling, the structure can move in a bird-like motion through physical touch or computer-controlled motors. Stereoscopic projections are precisely aligned with the movement of the kinetic structure and the surrounding environment, creating a fully immersive experience.

Visitors can communicate with LightSense’s AI system through an onsite microphone, generating poetic responses that trigger dynamic audiovisual animations. The physical structure and its digital twin are interlinked through a position sensor, controlled by a gaming engine and the AI system. Additionally, the installation can be linked to online communication platforms like Zoom, enabling visitors from anywhere in the world to interact with the physical construction.

LightSense takes a new human-centric approach to the current notion of “Smart Buildings” where digital technology is typically used for optimisation or substitution of the human action. Instead, it explores how creative AI can be used as a new design parameter to generate responsive architecture that can actively collaborate with its inhabitants and improvise alongside their actions.