ColoniaTecne is an interactive pavilion currently on display in San Jose which works as a spy to monitor the passage of visitors. Inspired by coral reefs, which quietly gather and share information from their environment and use it to shape their growth, ColoniaTecne features a network of sensors and LED lights that monitor their space and pass on information to the rest of the pavilion. Designed by BIOS Design Collective, the pavilion responds to movement in and around the pavilion and stealthily transmits info in a glowing arch.
BIOS Design Collective was inspired by the stealthy communication network of coral reefs when dreaming up their pavilion. Biomimicry uses the lessons learned in nature to create new and sophisticated design solutions. Here BIOS Design Collective mimics how coral reefs monitor their environment with the help of thousands of polyps that also work to shape the reef itself.
ColoniaTecne features 53 plastic scales that each contain an LED light and a microprocessor, which acts as they eyes and brains. The scales are built into the wooden skeleton and monitor activity in and around the pavilion. As visitors pass through or around, the scales sense movement and respond through light. They also pass information on to the other scales according to a set program and those scales then respond with their own light. Sometimes the pavilion responds in a rapid wave of light from purple to blue, other times the pavilion responds with a slow trickle.
BIOS Design Collective is a working group of academic and professional designers exploring the application of biological patterns to architecture. A team of three, consisting of Jess Austin, Charles Lee and Rip De Leon, designed and built the structure recently in San Jose during their free time away from their normal jobs at leading architecture firms. ColoniaTecne will be on display in downtown San Jose on East San Carlos Street and First Street through February 1.
Images ©Peter Prato