Ball State Epithelium

Ball State University

Muncie, Indiana, US - 2009

In March of 2009 the first of a series of installations which incorporated pneumatics was completed and permanently installed at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. Designed over several months, the hanging, layered meshwork composed of impact-resistant acrylic, bamboo, and mylar components reacts to human occupation interpreted by arrayed proximity sensors. These physical reactions consist of disturbed shaking and gentle waving movements actuated pneumatically using solenoid valves, a rig of custom air muscles, and controlled by Arduino microcontrollers with processing-based code development.

Philip Beesley visited Ball State’s An Inconvenient Studio along with Brad Rothernberg of the Pratt Institute to deliver a four-day workshop focused on physical computing and the development of kinetic mesh systems. Beesley also delivered a lecture at the University entitled “Partial Objects.”