This course emphasized the collaborative aspects of writing code, sending and receiving data, and building responsive physical structures. Each team sent and received six different kinds of data inputs, including coordinates, floating point numbers, and color values, and was responsible for transmitting the same six types of data with different content to the next team.

We built a sculpture that changes its form and behavior based on incoming data of various types, and gathers data through various sensors to pass along to other installations. The color on the inside of the fabric cocoon changes based on the color values it receives from the previous team, and the height and shape is influenced by other incoming data that causes the cocoon to stretch into different shapes.

Inside the cocoon, a mobile, such as one found inside a crib, is outfitted with a proximity sensor and four lit baubles that change color as the user pulls on them. The entire experience is designed to be as immersive as possible – the sculpture is meant to be viewed from the inside, as if the viewers themselves are being incubated in a dynamic cocoon.

This project was a considerable technical challenge both in software and in hardware. We had to tackle the difficulties of dealing with over 100 data values each second and also generate the same amount of valid data based on hardware sensors and software processing. Additionally, the physical challenges of building an animated structure moved by a series of small motors were nontrivial.