Visitors to the Harvard Graduate School of Design’s Gund Hall may be welcomed by an unusual sight: an undulating concrete blanket sitting beside Gund’s main entrance. The installation is actually an interactive soundscape comprising thousands of bits of real-time data.
Entitled “PULSUS,” the project is a collaboration between Cambridge-based INVIVIA and the GSD’s Responsive Environments and Artifacts Lab (REAL), directed by associate professor of practice in architectural technology Allen Sayegh. Molded and folded from concrete, “PULSUS” is an ambient, interactive, and experimental installation that collects real-time data from the city and reinterprets this dynamic information into interactive soundscapes. The project debuted in New York City’s Soho neighborhood in the summer of 2017, before finding its way to its current spot just outside Gund Hall, where it will remain on view until December 15. Domus recently featured the project on its website.
As it hums and mists to every small fluctuation in urban activity, “PULSUS” encourage visitors to relax, cool off, and tune in to the dynamic pulses of the city’s communication frenzy.
REAL is a research lab that pursues the design of digital, virtual, and physical worlds as an indivisible whole. It recognizes the all-pervasive nature of digital information and interaction at scales ranging from our bodies to the larger urban contexts we occupy and the infrastructures that support them. Sayegh serves as REAL’s lab director
REAL takes an interdisciplinary look at the design of the built environment from the lens of technologically-augmented experiences, with a strong focus on the sustainability and longevity of technology. Putting the human being at the center and forefront, from the micro (bodily sensors, smart product design, augmented interfaces) to the macro (interactive buildings, information infrastructures, communication frameworks), researchers at REAL examine the emerging ways in which technology fuses into the ways we live, work, and play.