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Artist statement



Named after the polymath, mathematician, first computer programmer, and early innovator of the computer age, Ada Lovelace, this collaborative project with Microsoft Research embodies performance, material innovation, human-centered adaptive architecture, and emerging technologies, including artificial intelligence. Ada builds upon 13 years of collaborative work and innovation across architecture and science, where projects embrace and are informed by technology, non-standard and bio-steered concepts, and the hidden spatial structures within data—projects that have the capacity to facilitate and reveal hidden expressions and emotion in the built environment.

The first architectural pavilion project to incorporate AI, Ada is also knitted light, immersing visitors in a responsive and interactive glow of photoluminescence. Importantly, Ada is human-driven; Ada is a cyber-physical architecture that is adaptive, personal, data-driven, and informed by individual and collective participation. It is a project that celebrates AI, an architecture that is "happy to see you" and "smiles back at you."

Jenny Sabin
Ada Detail

A lightweight knitted pavilion structure of responsive and data-driven tubular and cellular components employs textiles and photoluminescent fibers that absorb, collect, and emit light. An external rigid experimental shell structure assembled from a compressive network of 890 unique 3D-printed nodes and fiberglass rods holds Ada’s form in continuous tension.

Working with researchers and engineers at Microsoft Research, Ada is driven by individual and collective sentiment data collected and housed within the Microsoft Research Building 99. A network of sensors and cameras located throughout the building offer multiple opportunities for visitors and participants to engage, interact with, and drive the project. The data includes facial patterns, voice tones, and sound that are processed by AI algorithms and correlated with sentiment. Three scales of responsive and gradated lighting include a network of addressable LEDs, a custom fiber optic central tensegrity cone, and five external PAR lights responding in real time to continuous streams of data. Specific sentiment data are correlated with colors, spatial zones within the project, and responsive materials.

Suspended from three points and hovering above the ground floor of the atrium, Ada is a socially and environmentally responsive structure that is interactive and transformative. This environment offers spaces for curiosity and wonder, individual and collective exchange, and rigorous research experimentation as the pavilion filters light, casts dynamic shadows, and changes in response to your input. It is an open responsive system featuring digitally knitted lightweight, high-performing, formfitting, and adaptive materials. Ada is information with and for you.