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Flock of Birds-Inspired Art

With Milan Design Week ending today, no doubt one of their highlights was this mesmerizing installation called “Flylight” which consists of 160 glass tubes that lighten up and respond to the viewer's movement. Inspired by the behavior from a flock of birds and the fascinating patterns they seem to create in the air, the installation is best appreciated not through photos but in person or by video (see below).

“We converted this bird-behavior into a digital DNA and translated it into understandable visualizations with light,” the creators say. “Each light is controlled individually, but the behavior is not programmed to a repeated pattern. Move after move the birds have to choose their way within the borders of the installation. Ultrasonic sensors (like bats) measure the distance between the viewer and installation, so the ‘flock' will react different the closer you get to it, or when more people approach it at once. For us, the interesting part is the free will of the flock: does the group attack the viewers one by one, or will it split up and flee?”

The installation was present at the ‘FOO – flight of Objects' Dutch designers' group exhibition at Ventura Lambrate, Milan, from April 12-17. It was made by Lonneke Gordijn and Ralph Nauta (Studio DRIFT), in colaboration with engineers Klaas van der Molen and Luuk van Laake.

Design Drift website

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