SKYLINE is a 10-day architecture showcase that stretches across a completely walkable 10 x 10 block grid in downtown LA – where spaces ranging from penthouses to historic banks to hotel lobbies host interactive installations that embody the cultural landscape of Los Angeles.
Leap Motion was a natural fit for SKYLINE participant Behnaz Farahi, a designer, architect, and Annenberg Fellow at the USC School of Cinematic Arts whose research investigates the potential of interactive environments in relation to the human body. Her project Breathing Wall brought a large fabric sculpture to life in the heart of the Fashion District during the festival with Leap Motion technology.
The piece encapsulates some of the larger questions about interactive design that Farahi seeks to address with her installations. “How might we envision a genuinely interactive space whose form and physical configuration can respond to and learn from its users?” Farahi asks, “and how might such a space influence how we inhabit our environment, and change the way we live?”
Farahi’s body of work tackles these questions through investigative kinetic design, her central focus being the relationship between materials, form, and interactive systems of control.
“Mobile devices already use techniques based on touch-and gesture-based languages – swiping, clicking, dragging and so on – as a natural, intuitive mechanism of control,” she says. “But can these techniques be used to control entire environments?”
For Fahari, the prospect of controlling entire rooms or structures with Leap Motion technology intrigues her the most – the notion that 3D motion control can transform a 2D work of art from a simple narrative into a living choreography of space.