knol ontwerp’s transit mantra an interactive tunnel sculpture
all images courtesy of knol ontwerp
guiding cyclists through the dark dutmala tunnel in eindhoven, the netherlands, ‘transit mantra’ is an interactive sound and light sculpture designed by amsterdam-based designers knol ontwerp. opened in august 2013, the symbiotic piece provides an improved sense of safety for people crossing through the tunnel. influenced by the history of eindhoven, a city fused by a cluster of former villages – its decentralized character is still apparent today when one passes through. based on the notion of ‘being in transit’, the swarm-like installation seeks to enhance this experience, offering a pleasant moment of reflection. when people move through the tunnel, the overhead sculpture reacts to the human movement. cleverly, it responds differently to an individual walking through versus a group of people on a bike – the velocity and number of passengers influences the behavior of the installation, leading to an ever-changing pattern of light and sound.
the overhead sound and light sculpture reacts to human movement as people pass through the tunnel
informed by the energy of the passengers, the tunnel is turned into a collective instrument. ‘transit media’ is a successful example of functional, innovative technology but with a strong aesthetic component. the installation reassures passengers entering the tunnel, as the light trail of the last person remains visible, glowing for a while afterwards.
‘in bicycle tunnels people always experience a certain unsafe feeling. if they see that others were just before them, this feeling decreases.’ says mary-ann schreurs the alderman of innovation, design, culture and public space.
‘transit mantra’ is an example of technology interwoven with the urban landscape
cyclists activate the installation, as it responds to the velocity of their movement
image © bart van overbeeke
the interactive piece creates an ever-changing pattern of light and sound for the dark tunnel
the glowing installation reassures passengers entering the tunnel, providing an increased sense of safety
the sculpture appears to be growing over the ceiling, like artificial nature