Many people have insect phobias, but the Wunderbugs pavilion hopes to change that negative perception toward the little critters. Designed and curated by Francesco Lipari and Vanessa Todaro of OFL Architecture, Wunderbugs is an interactive art installation that tracks and uses the movement of human visitors and insects to create a musical composition. The pavilion debuted during the second edition of Maker Faire Europe that took place in Rome early this month.
The 323-square-foot circular Wunderbugs pavilion was constructed from wood using a combination of CNC machinery and traditional woodworking techniques. The designers created Wunderbugs’ distinctive shape by hybridizing patterns from the Roman Baroque with the geometric shapes and hives made by insects. The result is a crown-like outdoor room comprising a pattern of perforated diamond-shaped wooden modular units that when put together, create large circular openings.
Six spherical interactive insect ecosystems are located within the pavilion. Each transparent orb is equipped with an Arduino single-board microcontroller and sensors for motion, humidity, temperature, and sunlight intensity. A network of ultrasonic sensors installed along the pavilion walls also tracks the position of human visitors. That location data is combined with the sensors in the insect ecosystems to create a musical composition that changes in real-time depending on changes in data input.
“By playing with technology, the architecture and pavilion’s geometry create an outdoor room equipped with an audio installation in which the music makes through combining nature and human an inseparable (and abstract) relationship with the world’s harmony,” write the designers.
Images via OFL Architecture