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Entrant Name
Frances Nelson

Design Team
Frances Nelson, Gregg Wygonik, Chris Abbas & Adrian MacDonald

Contractor: Mortenson Construction (Chris Allen, Phillip Greany, Andrew Hofmeister, Travis Peterson, Dean Vadset) Structural Engineering: Swenson Say Faget (Kevin Winner)

Owner / Client
Design In Public

Anthracite Mirror

All Submissions > Scale 1: Human Scale

This installation is conceived around the idea of users participating in a spatial experience through the agency of simple movements. A multi-disciplinary collaboration between architectural design and physical computing (via Arduino Mega Processors, infrared sensors and RGB LEDs) produces visual feedback from the structure, in response to the human energy generated by its form.

The rhythm, pattern, and visual texture of the folding, planar form evoke a state of continual transformation, inviting users to pass through and explore its mysteries. The effect recalls geological processes, with a hard lined mineral geometry and a sense of embodied energy. We named the piece after anthracite, a black mineral form of coal that burns blueish white, sometimes called “black diamond.” The stark black exterior reflects daylight differentially from each angled surface, and seems to suck up the energy of the sun. At night, the external form nearly disappears.

By contrast, the interior is possessed of its own light, which grows more distinct as the light of day fades. The white surfaces reflect ambient light, but also glow from within in response to a user’s presence. A constellation of light points interacts with the angular rhythm of the wall surfaces, varying in color and pattern as users try moving at different speeds or intensities. The end goal is to inspire a sense of empowerment and wonder as users create their own environment.