nor's dyebirth installation expresses birth, life, and death with colorful ink

nor's dyebirth installation expresses birth, life, and death with colorful ink

‘dyebirth’ is an installation, designed by tokyo-based studio nor, that constantly creates organic patterns through digitally controlled physical phenomena produced by the mixture of water, ink, and chemical substances. systematic digital control and unpredictable natural phenomenon create various patterns that dye together and eventually turn to black, an insipid, lifeless state, reminding us of the diversity and cycle of life.

dropping unite



nor-designed dropping unit moves to the position determined by the ‘game of life’ algorithm of the main computer, and then drops inks to pallet filled with an aqueous solution of sodium polyacrylate. the game of life progresses gradually at every drop, and the next position is automatically calculated.



repeating this sequence continues to drop ink autonomously. the mixture of ink dropped on the pallet forms the intricate patterns by causing various reactions. when the dropping amount exceeds the allowable amount of pallet, the excesses flow out to the waste liquid unit. waste liquids which are produced by mixing the various inks are accumulated as a black liquid.

ink palette


commentary movie of dyebirth by nor







nor team


palette and drain


waste liquid


project info:


concept: makoto fukuchi

hardware engineer: satoshi nanane

software engineer: shuhei matsuyama

sound designer: yui onodera

architect/experience designer: kazuhiro itagaki

designer: satoshi kawamata

scientist: mafumi hishida

producer: shigeyoshi hayashi

movie direction/cinematographer: masaki ueda



designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.


edited by: maria erman | designboom

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