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Interactive light sculpture depicts the mood at Arup HQ

A new lighting installation, unveiled this week at Arup’s head office in the UK, seeks to capture people’s sentiments and depict them through LED lights. The ‘Sentiment Cocoon’, an interactive installation designed by architect Moritz Behrens and lighting designer Konstantinos Mavromichalis, is the 2015 winner of Arup’s annual competition to highlight new talent and innovative thinking within designers and emerging architectural practices.

The complete installation stands about 20m high. Each day, Arup employees can share their sentiments via one of the dashboards that are installed on each of the five office floors, using an individual swipe card. An algorithm processes this information and encodes it in different colours and movement that are visualised by the lighting inside the cocoon.

The LEDs are four continuous lines, totalling 4,800 pixels, that generate complex patterns and gradients of colour running the entire height of the Sentiment Cocoon. The collective sentiment will be encoded in different colours and movement and visualised by the lighting inside the cocoon – using colour gradients, movement and velocity within the patterns. Over time the patterns will become recognisable and people working in the building will experience the overriding sentiment of the day within the office.

Nigel Tonks, group leader, Building Engineering London, commented: “The independence of Arup allows our practice to invest in young designers. The making of an installation within our office replicates the challenge of delivering within a fast-paced programme that is fun and rewarding”.