Nicole L'Huillier | SPACES THAT PERFORM THEMSELVES

SPACES THAT PERFORM THEMSELVES

Building on the understanding of music and architecture as creators of spatial experience, this thesis presents a novel way of unfolding music’s spatial qualities in the physical world. Spaces That Perform Themselves exposes an innovative response to the current relationship between sound and space: where we build static spaces to contain dynamic sounds. What if we change the static parameter of the spaces and start building dynamic spaces to contain dynamic sounds?

A multi-sensory kinetic architectural system is built in order to augment our sonic perception through a cross-modal spatial choreography that combines sound, movement, light, color, and vibration. By breaking down boundaries between music and architecture, possibilities of a new typology that morphs responsively with a musical piece can be explored. As a result, spatial and musical composition can exist as one synchronous entity.

This project seeks to contribute a novel perspective on leveraging technology, design, science, and art to provide a setting to enrich and augment the way we relate with the built environment. The objective is to enhance our perception and challenge models of thinking by presenting a post-humanistic phenomenological encounter of the world.

Master Thesis project for the Master in Media Arts & Sciences at MIT Media Lab  © 2017 Massachusetts Institute of Technology. All right reserved. (thesis pdf)

Thesis Supervisor: Tod Machover, Muriel R. Cooper Professor of Music and Media and Director of the Media Lab’s Opera of the Future group

Thesis Reader:  Dr. Joseph A. Paradiso, Thesis Reader, Alexander W. Dreyfoos Professor at MIT’s Program in Media Arts and Sciences. Director of the MIT Media Lab’s Responsive Environments Group

Thesis Reader:  Craig Dykers, Thesis Reader, Founding Partner at Snøhetta, Architect, AIA, LEED AP, Int FRIBA, FRSA, RAAR

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS |All the ideas, passion, inspiration and fun come from the people around me. I am fortunate to be part of this universe with all of you. Especially Juan Necochea, who not only helps me to build a life every day, but also helped me to build this thesis project from the very beginning to its end. I also want to thank Tod Machover for his constant support and guidance, which made this process an extremely fun and exciting learning and growing experience. I want to thank my readers Craig Dykers and Joe Paradiso for their time and valuable feedback, these have been essential to develop richer ideas. Thanks to all the dear friends that not only worked with me, but also gave me endless support and inspiration to achieve this dream: Tal Achituv, Thomas Sanchez Lengeling, Alexandra Rieger, Penny Webb, Miguel Perez, Miriam Simun, Xin Liu, Jan Casimir, Phil Tinn, Kevin Shum, Gabriel Li, Victoria Ouyang, Chantine Akiyama, Sarah Hua, and all the Opera of the Future group.

This research was supported by the Opera of the Future group at the MIT Media Lab, as part of the Program in Media Arts and Sciences. Partially funded by the Council for the Arts at MIT, thank you so much for that!

Submitted to the Program in Media Arts and Sciences, School of Architecture and Planning, in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of

MASTER OF SCIENCE IN MEDIA ARTS AND SCIENCES at the MASSACHUSETTS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY

August 2017

© 2017 Massachusetts Institute of Technology. All right reserved.