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The AMS is finalizing the design of the New Student Union Building (SUB) to be constructed in the area immediately surrounding the knoll and construction documents are currently being prepared.  Construction begins in early 2012, with doors opening in mid-2014.


During this stage of the project, there is an opportunity for a team of student engineers/designers to use their creative drive to develop and design an interactive art piece that can be incorporated into the SUB Atrium, currently envisioned as in the figures below:


Above: Rendering of new SUB Atrium


Left:  Rendering of new SUB – SouthWest View

Center: Floor plan of SUB Atrium Level

Right:   Floor plan of SUB Atrium Level, close-up.



The project opportunity has been organized by the UBC SEEDS group (Social Ecological Economic Development Studies), along with the Sustainability Coordiators and  New SUB Project Team Members from the AMS.   From the original posting presented by the organizers:


“The goal of such an interactive piece would involve the ability to command the sustainability of the space, drawing attention to features in the building that reduce the ecological footprint of its operations, improving the connection of the built environment to natural cycles or in provide real-time data about the building operations. Examples could include: current trash levels, approximate location of wifi users to calculate energy use, water use, current cycles of the moon or sun, current kWh being consumed, etc…


The possibilities are quite extensive as long as they fit into the general ideas of sustainability, connections to natural cycles and real-time data. Interactive components are also a desired feature, perhaps students could step on panels in the floor which light up various aspects of a glowing sphere, once again, your team’s imagination is the key here. You have the opportunity to provide a stunning and unique approach to the New SUB’s Atrium.”


Three Engphys students and the Project Lab met with the organizers in mid-September to disucss the project, and a great deal of flexiblity and innovation has been granted to any interested students participating in this effort in incorporiating interactivity, material selection, energy, and sustaiability into the piece.


In addition, funding is potentially available from the new AMS Sustainability Fund to develop prototypes for the project.   Students applying for upto $2,000 will have their application reviewed within 1 month to develop and put together their final prototype, to be submitted to the clients in the spring (UBC SEEDS/AMS Sustainability Coordinators and New SUB Project Team Members, AMS members-at-large and UBC community).



How To Get Involved

Attend an Info Meeting: RSVP to attend an info session the week of Oct 4/5th:    [ Info Session Sign-up – Interactive Art Installation in SUB ]

Send in your contact info: Email your contact info to Jon Nakane, UBC Engphys Project Lab, who will create a list of interested students from Engphys, the School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, and possibly other interested undergrad and grad stduents.

Join in the idea-generating: Interested students will be asked to meet to discuss possible project ideas, and encouraged to form larger groups or break off into smaller development teams to develop ideas, write up proposal ideas, and submit funding proposals to the AMS Sustainability Fund.  It may be one group, it may be several, depending on the ideas and the number of students involved.

Build Prototype: self-explanatory.



NB:  All dates listed below are tentaive.


Tues Oct 4th, 4-5pm, Lassaire Room 202: introductory meeting.   I and the other students can tell a bit of background about the project and timelines.   Demo last year’s models from your class.  We get students to chat amongst themselves about either generating ideas and sharing, or encouraging them to form their own groups to actually make prototypes.


Oct 15th – interested groups of students present a simple 1-pager telling what they would like to make/do as a prototype.   Encourage them to gather feedback on their ideas.


Nov 15th – they present an actual proposal/first prototype and application for funding to the AMS SEEDS group.  For this application, they can ask for upto $2k to build a fully-functional prototype.   We can provide a template for what this might look like (idea, resources, timeline, etc).


Reading Week (Feb 19th) – present a status update to any interested people.


April 15th – present their actual prototype to AMS SEEDS and any other interested people.   The goal of this prototype is to provide the basis for fundraising/awareness for the project for the final build in the SUB.




Resources and Other Info


  • As a point of reference, the original organizers included a photo of the Leviathan at the Grand Palais in Paris (“though this scale is much larger than anything you’d be considering, it provides a general picture of how a piece of art can command an interior space.”)




Update History

  • Sept 26 – first posting.
  • Sept 30 – date/location of first meeting now set.  Added Scratch-pad.