School of Architecture

Thursday 24 October 2019

Students from the University of Queensland’s Schools of Music, Architecture and Information Technology and Electrical Engineering have come together to surprise and delight visitors to the 2019 UQ Bloom Festival with a series of interactive installations.

Visitors are encouraged to engage with the projects by interacting through gesture, proximity and social media activity, activating installations of light, sound and physical form.

Students have worked collaboratively across their range of disciplines, learning from academics outside their usual study areas and drawing inspiration from themes relating to the natural environment, sustainability and imagination.

Architecture Lecturer, Dr Fred Fiahlo Teixeira said the works focus on designing beyond boundaries.

“The students designed distinct experiences to spark curiosity among audiences, inviting them to come and take a closer look.”

UQ Bloom installation

Student-designed interactive installations at 2019 UQ Bloom Festival.

People-centred design expert, Associate Professor Stephen Viller said exhibiting the installations over a week-long festival provided students with the opportunity to watch how their audiences interacted with their creations.

“The students were able to grow their understanding of how audiences expected to use the spaces and took the time to tailor the experiences throughout the week.”

“For example, they watched people walk into the centre of E-Motion and twirl around, expecting the lights and sound to interact with them, so the project team re-coded the sensors and deployed another iteration the next day that provided the immediate immersive response people were looking for – and the audience loved it!”

Senior Lecturer in Music Technology, Dr Eve Klein said by working together across the music, architecture and interaction design disciplines, students were able to craft installations much larger and more immersive than could be achieved working with one approach alone.

“It’s a fantastic experience for our students to practice sharing their skills and knowledge in the kinds of transdisciplinary team environments they will encounter in their future workplaces,” Dr Klein said.

The installations:

Undulate

Undulate is centred around a rising and falling timber sculpture with embedded visual and audio elements. The installation follows social media posts related to the Bloom Festival, driving the lights and sounds based on sentiment analysis of the related hash-tags that audience members locally and online use when they post about UQ Bloom.

E-Motion

E-Motion harnesses data relating to how people arrive on campus (walking/cycling, public transport, private vehicles) as a basis for visual and sonic displays around a continuous screen wall that allows views of the different categories of transport. Sensor-based and physical interactions are used to allow audience members to explore different visualisations and sonifications related to the transit data.

Floral Symphony

Floral Symphony features a series of interactive blooms constructed using 3D printing with embedded speakers, lights, and sensors. Audience members are able to generate visual and sonic performances through their interactions with the blooms.

Visitors are encouraged to visit UQ and engage with the installations from 4pm-7pm around the UQ Lakes until Friday 25 October.

Cross-disciplinary multimedia installations Soundscape and in.bloom are also on display during the UQ BLOOM Festival, which wraps up on Sunday 27 October.

#uqbloom #uqlife