October 2014


For many years scientists have researched flocks of birds and human crowds to gain a deeper understanding of swarm behavior. Bird flocks are particularly interesting as they create complex shapes whilst flying; a phenomenon also known as the Black Sun. Mathematical simulations of this behavior is often used in animations to generate realistic movements of a crowd. Architects and crowd managers attempt to predict the movement of a crowd in populated areas and events such as stations, festivals and the pilgrimage during the Hajj in Mecca in order to execute crowd management.

Wave is a poetic simulation of a swarm: 12 computer fans are connected to an Arduino and a motion sensor. Once movement is registered, the fans turn on one at a time, starting in the left corner. The leaves are blown upwards by the wind coming from the fans to simulate a wave movement.

The installation was exhibited at the 2014 Dutch Design Week in at the TAC Building in Eindhoven.

Computer fans used to generate wind

Leaves being blown by fans

Leaves being blown by fans



Video of 'Wave' installation

'Movement' study

'Transformation' study

'Behaviour' study