For the midterm project in my Spatial Media class, we were assigned different public spaces to augment with installation art. My group was assigned Alamo (aka Astor Place Cube).

Since the space already had an interactive piece in it (you can physically spin the cube), we decided to not interfere with it. Instead we saw the cube’s close proximity to the subway station, next-to and underneath, as an opportunity to bring the delight of the surface interaction to the subway below.

Flythrough of cube and subway station installation

We designed an array of cubes with lights and speakers. As someone spins the cube above, the array of cubes activate and play the sounds from the surface while lighting up. When people spin the cube on the street, the hanging speakers in the subway station below play back recordings of street sounds above.

The sound field fluctuates along with the rotation of the surface cube: if you stand still next to the subway installation while the surface cube is spinning, then you will hear the street sounds that are exposed to one side of the surface cube – giving you the feeling of that movement while standing still.

Concept video

We did a mini-installation test with a subset of the cube array (just the tip).

My role: concept creation, 3D modeling, physical prototype building, hardware spec’ing, presentation design and delivery
Worked with: Harry Chiuhao Chen, FangYu Yang