Arborealis is an artificial tree designed to give a passerby a greater identity and connection to a public place and use this to inspire a sense of community and social awareness.
The installation responds to steps taken around it by creating a pulses of light that travel across the ground and spread up the tree and throughout the canopy. With regular foot traffic, the tree will display an array of shifting lights that represents a history of the steps and therefore people that have been around it.
The design was inspired by the many other illuminated, but uninteractive, trees throughout the city. We hope to subvert the existing expectations around these and suprise and delight passers by, calling them to explore and interact further. By creating a direct feedback to individual steps the installation intends to help users identify with 'their' little pulse of light and, in turn, recognise every point of light as another human being.
The actual structure consists of LED strips underlain into the flooring, the trunk, and the canopy of the tree. Foil contact circuits detect footsteps along the roots painted on the felt flooring and an array of processors decide what path the light pulse takes