FELD

studio for digital crafts

Choreography and computational design for 1216 actuated drops

Kinetic Rain

Kinetic Rain is an artwork designed by ART+COM Studios for Terminal 1 at Singapore’s Changi Airport. The kinetic sculpture adds a contemplative element to the lively transit space of the departure hall.

FELD was consulting as a part of the design team to develop the sculpture's choreography and was involved in the technical process as well as the execution of the final movement. For this we developed tools which would allow to go from simulated animations to the final trajectories the drops are following as a part of the choreography.

Kinetic Rain consists of two parts installed above the central escalators. Each symmetrical element is composed of 608 drops made of lightweight aluminium covered with copper. The drops are connected by steel wires to a computer-controlled motor that raises and lowers them with precision.

The two elements move in dialogue through a fifteen-minute choreographed piece, evolving from abstract to figurative three-dimensional forms. The visual experience of the complex computer-designed movement is completely different depending on perspective.

Designing a choreography for a kinetic sculpture that can be viewed from many different angles has many challenges: Traditional digital animation tools usually don't take into account physical limitations like maximum velocity or acceleration of a kinetic sculpture like Kinetic Rain.

FELD developed, as part of the computational design team of ART+COM Studios, several tools to computationally generate the more abstract patterns, but also ways to adapt the manually authored sequences to the sculpture and to blend everything together into one consistent and fluent whole.

Kinetic Rain was commissioned by Changi Airport Group, Singapore, designed by ART+COM Studios, Berlin and manufactured and installed by MKT, Olching.

© Video Changi Airport Group, Singapore

ART+COM Project Page