Glowghetti, Sound-A-Roni is an installation that aims to reclaim anonymous and abandoned spaces and transform them into usable public space. The project creates an temporary infrastructure of sound and light that redefines the space and allows it to be reclaimed, appropriated and reconfigured by the users within.

The installation presents itself as an internalized white box from the outside, although, once one steps foot into it, one is immersed in a synthetic urban landscape. A field of fiber-optic strands hanging from the ceiling emit a soft glow that follows the movement of users, while, on the ground, three loosely defined zones of activity-a seating area, a lounge area, and a playground area provide for spaces to  walk/sit/stand/jump/lounge/nap/hide. Each of the activity zones are characterized by ‘bumps’, rounded extrusions from the ground, whose varying characteristics (height, scale & area) are tweaked to optimize their respective functions. The lounging area has low wide bumps to encourage lounging, the seating area has rounded stools of varying heights, and the playground bumps cushion jumps of up to 4’ high. Each “bump” in the ground is embedded with electronic sensors that are triggered by pressure, such that each one emits a single musical note when pressure is applied.

Instead of a single controlled entry, the project offers multiple points of entry with suggested pathways, which people can choose to deviate from and instead carve out their own path.


Long Section

Cross Section

The box structure will be located at the 67 West Street courtyard entry in Greenpoint, NYC, straddling private property (the interiorized courtyard) and public space (the road). The structure will span the alleyway and have hanging attachments to the ceiling to provide additional support.


Structure Diagram

Glow-Ghetti: Ceiling

The coffered roof structure, composed of laminated plywood beams arranged in a grid of 4′ x 4′, spans the width of the alleyway. A modular electronic system controlling the 12″ x 12″ grid of fiber optic strands is then mounted between the plywood boards. The fiber optic strands are each locally connected to an LED light and motion sensor. Human motion within a range of 5ft trigger the sensors, intensifying the light coming through the fiber optics strands; thus leaving a trail of light as an artifact of the motion of people.

Sound-A-Roni: Ground Plane

The ground topography is composed of large CNC-routed expanded polystyrene blocks, which are covered with a thick layer of playground rubber mulch. The electronic equipment, embedded in the blocks, consists of piezoelectric pressure sensors attached to each of the high points (the ‘bumps’) in a grid-like fashion, such that a touch on one of the bumps triggers a musical note.

Assembly Diagram

Assembly Detail

1 comment
  1. dad said:

    very good, ultra modern project. hope it becomes a reality, ie, a promoter agrees to finance it

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