The Pool by Jen Lewin

Juxtapoz // Tuesday, 06 Nov 2012

Let's let Jen Lewin explain "The Pool": The Pool is an environment of giant, concentric circles created from interactive circular pads. By entering the pool, you enter a world where play and collaborative movement create swirling effects of light and color. Imagine a giant canvas where you can paint and splash light collaboratively.

The pool is composed of 106 interactive circular platforms placed in giant concentric circles.  This arrangement can be as small as 40 feet x 40 feet (when compressed) or as large as 100 feet x 100 feet (when expanded.)  All of the 106 pads communicate wirelessly and “listen” to each other in an organic network formed in the same way people interact.  The Pool has no single master computer and does not use a router to route or control connections.  Each pad is independent and simultaneously interacts and listens to its environment based on user feedback.  Together, the 106 pads create complex, surprising, and unpredictable color arrays with their user participants.

By adding and subtracting light, individuals and groups of people are able to interact with The Pool in profound ways.  The interaction varies dramatically depending on the number of individuals involved.  This dynamic interaction between individuals and The Pool creates environments ranging from curious and playful with few participants to energetic and competitive with many participants.

Like a giant game of light “ping pong,” the pool will have users running and jumping, adding, bouncing, and mixing light together.


Each Pad in The Pool senses the movements of a person. User inputs such as foot location, foot pressure, and speed are sensed by the pad surface. As a person moves, light ripples out to the surrounding pads. For example, by leaning left, a ripple of varying intensity starts in that direction. A stronger more deliberate lean could cause a ripple to jump rings and fill the entire Pool. Ripples vary in light strength, length (the number of pads this message propagates to), and color. Each person’s ripple is unique. As ripples interact with other ripples, an infinite variety of colorful patterns emerge.






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