How cool would it be to dance in the rain without having to towel off after? That's exactly the experience that the Museum of Modern Art and Random International are offering with their "Rain Room", which invites guests to frolic through 1,076 square feet of pouring rain while staying completely dry. Using 3D-tracking cameras, injection-moulded tiles and a water recycling system, the installation follows guests as they pass toward a stark floodlight, turning off each sprinkler as they pass under it, and giving the feeling of being in the center of a rainstorm without getting the least bit wet.
The sophisticated system is made up of a complex network of pressure regulators, solenoid valves, sensors, and tracking cameras, all controlled by custom software designed by Random International. The grated floor allows for constant water recycling, and collects the fallen drops and pumps them back through the injection-moulded tile ceiling.
Located just next to MoMA in a tented lot on 54th Street, the exhibit gives off the constant sound of falling rain emerging from a darkened room. Only eight guests at a time are allowed inside to make their way toward the only light in the room- a very bright flood light. With every step, the sprinkler tiles above begin to shut off, slowly following each guest as she moves through the piece. Whether moving or standing in place, guests remain dry, making for an unbelievable experience when standing in the center of the installation, watching it pour all around.
Although the sensors do track your movements, it is best to move at a slower pace – otherwise you risk getting beating the sensors and getting a little wet. Since the floor is grated, make sure to wear appropriate shoes, and don’t bring anything you can’t carry, because storing things on the ground while you walk through the rain is forbidden.
Visitors can take a dry dance through the rain or recreate a scene from their favorite romantic comedy (without drenching themselves) at the Rain Room from May 12 until July 28, 2013, starting at 10:30 am. Members can sneak in an hour earlier, with queues starting at 9 am for the 9:30 am opening time.
Images ©Lori Zimmer for Inhabitat