2010 F


Description | Metamaterials | Control Loop | Proposed Site | Gallery | References | Team


metadome is envisioned as a torus-shaped structure that hosts a variety of interactive, metamaterial content. Participants' reactions to the novel materials are recorded by a number of sensors. A feedback loop harnesses the interactive nature of metamaterials and changes them according to the observed user behavior provoking further exploration of the space. The end goals of the metadome are gathering information on human perception of metamaterials, catalyzing the adoption of metamaterials in everyday life and serving as an interactive art piece.


Why Metamaterials

Human perception of traditional materials has been shaped by multiple legacy factors. Substances such as wood, clay, glass have been around since before mankind and our means of handling them as well as our emotions when being surrounded by such materials are influenced by civilization and the culture we belong to. For many purposes materials developed in the modern age, such as plastics, have substituted the traditional ones. Still, structural properties of those materials do not radically challenge our perception.

Traditional materials
Recently, materials have been developed that exhibit properties not readily available in nature. These materials called metamaterials show tremendous potential for technological advancements and for utilization in exciting new works of art. They can influence electromagnetic waves in a way which allows creation of ultra strong microscopes, invisibility cloaks and high-gain radio antennas. A subclass of them, so-called acoustic metamaterials, can guide sound waves in a fashion which contrasts with traditional materials' physics. However exciting it may be, the early stage of the metamaterial development which we find ourselves in right now does not provide much intuition behind the human perception of metamaterials. We speculate that novel properties of these materials will result in radically different human experience when ubiquitous contact is finally made with such materials. Moreover, we feel that the lack of cultural and societal boundaries will result in the primal emotion when we start interacting with metamaterials.



As an early, yet comprehensive empirical analysis of human-metamaterial interaction, we propose metadome. metadome is a flexible multi-media installation and a testbed for metamaterials research. It is envisioned as a spacious dome that hosts an abundance of interactive metamaterial content. metadome is equipped with numerous sensors that keep track of the user behavior. The user actions are then transferred to the dome representation through electric stimuli that change the properties of the material which the user interacts with, essentially creating an emotional feedback loop. In addition to the changing users' state influencing the metamaterials,the metamaterials in turn influence sound art which sonifies the properties of the metamaterials. metadome is not a single user space. Through their interaction with the flexible environment the users indirectly impact each other's experience. Moreover, the structure is envisioned as an integral part of its immediate surroundings. The building walls will allow a level of transparency, while the acoustic metamaterial insulation can extend the aural perception of space for the people within the building.

Metadome components

In this project we sketch the initial research directions towards the metamaterial-human interaction understanding. We will outline metadome, a facility for the direct, interactive contact with metamaterials and define the key concepts needed for the realization of the structure. We plan to present metadome through audio and video simulation of the metamaterial behavior. Finally, we will investigate the use of data from sensed human reaction to steer the future technical research on metamaterials.