Making music

Wednesday 22 Oct 2014

OFL Architecture's Francesco Lipari and Vanessa Todaro create interactive architecture for insects and humans

The Wunderbugs project is an interactive wooden pavilion equipped with sensors, which track environmental changes and human and insect movements to create unique musical compositions.

The installation was curated and designed by Francesco Lipari and Vanessa Todaro from Rome-based OFL Architecture and was released for the first time during the second edition of the Maker Faire in Rome earlier this month.

The entire circular pavilion is made from wood, combining traditional woodworking techniques and CNC machines. The architects created Wunderbugs' form by hybridising the typical shapes of the Roman Baroque era with the geometric shapes which insects make themselves, resulting in an aggregation of repetitive and simple elements.

The hive-like pavilion can assume infinite configurations thanks to its modularity, which includes 1,104 arc modules; 92 rhombuses and 198 wooden knobs.

But, of course, the real star of the show is the world of insects. Six, transparent spherical interactive ecosytems are located within the pavilion and fitted with an Arduino single-board microcontroller and sensors which detect motion, humidity, temperature and intensity of sunlight. A network of ultrasonic sensors tracks the position of human visitors. This data is used to create a musical composition that changes in real time, according to changes in the data recorded, thereby harmoniously integrating architecture and environment.


Architecture and engineering: OFL Architecture - Francesco Lipari and Vanessa Todaro
Consultants: Chiara Settanni (biologist), Marco Pesoli (sound engineer), Vincenzo Core (composer),  Sebastian Di Guardo (architect)
Team: Riccardo Mussati, Marzia Messina, Giulio Vitale, Marco Tivante
Client: Maker Faire Rome
Partners: Apicoltura Giulio Vitale, Bioplanet, Noldus, Falegnameria Lucchetti
Area: 30 sqm
Location: Rome



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