Memory Cloud

Submitted by RE:site

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Client: Texas A&M University

Location: College Station, TX, United States

Completion date: 2012

Project Team

Artist

Shane Allbritton, Norman Lee

RE:site

Design Optimization / Project Management

Metalab

Overview

Memory Cloud explores the embodiment of tradition, as shared patterns of movement handed down within a community of learning. An ethereal constellation of light expresses the pulse of campus life, making students both viewer and subject. Moving patterns of light are abstracted from archival footage associated with school traditions and student experiences. Juxtaposing and interlacing this footage with a real-time feed of student life, the patterns are like shifting images in the clouds, as the abstracted forms change constantly throughout the day. This living sculpture conflates past and present as the experience is distilled into pure form and movement.

Goals

In the competition, professional artists were asked to submit proposals in any style, medium or theme. Artists were asked to review the architectural design of the Memorial Student Center (MSC) building and create a proposal that fostered the vision of the MSC as a vibrant and welcoming place for students and to reflect the MSC’s role as the gateway to campus.

Process

Through the competition, the team demonstrated the ability to harness the potential of programmable LEDs, remote sensing, parametric design and digital fabrication to create an open ended narrative of the story of the University through abstracted movements of past and real-time present student life on the campus. Texas A&M, a place of deep traditions that are played out on the football field at every game and in the everyday lives of students will create the imagery that will be played within the layers of the LED matrix at different speeds and durations. Parametric design created a unique cloud form that creates a landscape within the student center where monumental and ephemeral figures will pass through the space, blurring the distinction between past and present.