A few days ago a new exhibit by Materials & Applications opened in Silver Lake, Los Angeles and if you're going to be in the area soon, you should definitely stop by. "bubbles" is a tactile, interactive installation that uses a responsive environment on an urban scale. Large, inflated airbags, or "bubbles," inflate and deflate in raeaction to visitors who meander through the "spatially adaptable pneumatic environment." As people make their way past the 8' diameter bubbles sensors detect movement and begin a chaotic series of movements as the bags fill and empty of air. After time, the installation returns back to its natural state. Here's a bit more detail about the project from their website-
The installation aims at bringing an adaptive volumetric sense of architecture to the installation site that is continuously changing and compelling as it responds to visitors. The adaptability of the bubbles emulates at a super-human scale the organic thigmotropism of plant life.
The structure of this installation tackles volume over surface and interaction with space over static geometry while pushing the scale of interactive architecture. The designers have selected permeable rip-stop nylon to form the bubbles. At the center of each bubble is a hard "seed" made of CNC'd white HDPE plastic and strengthened with monofilament. The seed serves two functions: it contains a micro-flourescent lighting element to create a glow within each bubble, and it houses the mechanical switch used to trigger the reversible fan that deflates one bubble while inflating another.
(thanks we make money not art)