Francis Bitonti & Brian Osborn: Robots in the French Quarter

For this years DesCours, an annual AIA event, held in New Orleans Louisiana. Francis Bitonti (fadarch.com) and Brian Osborn (bo-th.com) collaborated to construct a 500sqft robotic canopy.

The illuminated canopy fills the upper portion of a small courtyard in the French Quarter. As participants fill the courtyard the space is transformed by a field of kinetic devices. “Our objective is to create a fluid public condition which is programmed by habitation and social interaction.” Participants control the architecture through the seating. The ceiling is created from a grid of robotic components. The components randomly contract and expand while at rest. When the space is empty only one turns on at a time. As people begin to occupy the seats under the canopy, more components begin flickering on and off. Two people will cause three units to randomly dance around three people will activate four and four people will activate 5 etc…

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