Matter take on Automation Associates

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Matter and Automation Associate’s installation.

Matter and Automation Associate’s installation. Image: Conor Clarke

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Matter and Automation Associate’s installation.

Matter and Automation Associate’s installation. Image: Conor Clarke

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Matter and Automation Associate’s installation.

Matter and Automation Associate’s installation. Image: Conor Clarke

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Urbis looks back on the Designday® installations.

Matter and Automation Associate’s installation was my last stop on the day, but there was no time for flagging energy here. Walking through a flap in a red curtain and then down a red carpet edged with billowing curtains, the anticipation rose. Three large boxes stood outside in the sun waiting for punters to step inside and be immersed.

Immersed in what? Each cubical was entirely different. In the first, the room was entirely blacked out but lasers tracking your movements would respond to hand motions, so as you waved your arms and fingers like a concert pianist, the piano music would change in tempo, level and pace in time with your movements.

The second box had a model in a white full body leotard, a human canvas waited to be painted. But no touching! Using a computer programme and a special pen, visitors could draw on the body just by waving the pen in the air. Supposedly, faced with such a unique opportunity, people tended to do one of the following – draw circles around the breasts, draw on a tee shirt, or just cover the body with hearts.

The last room was very relaxing, and indeed, after a big day out, I almost had a kip. Laying back on a padded floor, the entire ceiling became a screen. Called Site, this was a nod to architecture, with an in depth look at the ground we build things on.

It wasn’t just finished there. Going into the showroom, you could see real-time video of people painting the human mannequin, or laying in the Site room, as well other multi-media presentations, lighting and special effects. The mini cupcakes were also a favourite.

Matter are an architecture studio who don’t like to solely keep to buildings and structures. Each of the designers also work in art and multi-media, so the collaboration with Automation Associates, who provide home automation, stereo, lighting… well, anything automated they’ll probably do, was a perfect match.
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