Archive for the ‘artwork – audio responsive light feature’ Category


Audio responsive light feature – last lap

December 3, 2008

Installed in early April 2008, the audio responsive light feature completes the series of work created for the new Barton hill School and Children’s Centre. The design engages with the ecological remit of the new school through use of recycled plastics and low energy consumption, this work could be solar powered, and has been designed with this in mind.

audio responsive light feature in-situ

audio responsive light feature in-situ

In light of ‘public art’ permanency this feature incorporates change rather than existing as a static sculpture. An aesthetic experience is generated through interaction. By employing the use of sensor-led technology, sound levels generate a visual response through the medium of light.

The structure spans two floors of the building The framework is constructed to hold plastic forms moulded from sheets that are 100% recycled – made from plastic water bottles & broken CDs (Smiles Plastics Ltd). The material has a deep blue translucency speckled with the reflective glitter of broken cds

adjusting the led network before adding the external housing

adjusting the led network before adding the external housing

Housing microphone / sensor technology that triggers LEDs this sparkly cosmos comes alive. Loud noise shut the lights off and differing responses are triggered by direct voice levels in proximity to the hidden microphones The circuitry is built by collaborator & technologist Mark Newbold and uses less power than a 60watt light bulb.

the making..

the making..


sound level test for audio responsive light feature

December 5, 2007


Mark explains the electronics board he’s constructed for the microphone, the variations in sound levels will be visible in the LEDs.

mark.jpg electronics.jpg

video footage of sound check:


light feature Sept / Oct 2007

October 19, 2007

the plastic sheets made from recycled water bottles and crushed cds have been kiln moulded by Mac & Colin at Smiles factory in Southport. Here they are laid out after cutting in preparation for production of the steel framework.



testing the light sequencing in one of the end sections..

The light feature spans 2 floors of the school & will be responsive to sound levels, loud noise will generate a switch off whilst directed vocals will trigger different intensities of light. The most awesome response will be from quiet contemplation…

The amount of power used is comparable to a 60watt lightbulb which ideally would be generated by a solar panel.


sensor-led light feature designs

June 19, 2007


the site: Spanning the ground and first floor is a wall outside the side entrance to the new hall At ground level it is visible to the public from the reception area, and also to staff & children from inside the school. On the first floor it is visible from a balcony corridor


Elliptical in shape the feature is constructed from stainless steel & plastic made from recycled water bottles & CD

This sparkly ‘cosmos’ will come alive dependent on noise levels – which trigger a mass of tiny LEDs situated behind the plastic form …if the noise is too loud it will shut off.



April 25th – checking light feature specs

May 18, 2007

surveying the site re. design & construction of the responsive light feature..the plan is that sound levels will impact on the brightness of LEDs which are contained in plastic sheeting made from recycled drink containers & crushed CDs.

you can see samples of the material here


Mac Dunlop (artist) & Tom Mason (architect)


Tom discussing specs with artist / tech consultant Mark Newbold

there are details of a previous responsive light feature created for Bedmister Family Practice by Mac Dunlop, Annie Lovejoy, & Mark Newbold here