SoftMatter is a temporary active event space that encourages a wide demographic of users to interact with the installation. It is intended to invoke notions of playfulness and positive experiences for the users of Canan Commons in Downtown Muncie, IN. Our goal is for users to directly engage the project, allowing them to experience it spatially by walking around and through the cascading landscape. The piece does not have a single specific function, but rather it allows users to discover ways of interaction.
Materially, we utilized over 20,000 custom made extruded polyethylene foam rods. They were cut to prescribed variable lengths to create the undulating surfaces and mounted to 150 structural wood decks. They are easily cleaned, durable, safe, cheap, lightweight, and can be manipulated into a variety of forms. The extrusions could be clustered, stacked, etc. to create many configuration options. Due to their low cost, we had the opportunity to aggregate them in large quantities to create a very impactful installation that can be engaged at multiple scales.
Formally the large undulating landscape provides a variety of interaction zones. The project encourages climbing, jumping, running, while providing for ample seating and areas to relax. Its iconic presence in the space attracts all that see it. For special events we envision an added component of lighting to be projected onto the installation. This could be an interactive scenario where lights are cast onto the surface reacting to users. We will be collaborating with a local organization to program this added component.