Coachella 2009 – Flock Wall Installation

Interactive architecture relies on the coupling of artificially conceived intelligence and mechanically induced kinetics that provide the opportunity for adaptation. As with all systems, human or non-human, the neural network must be open to dialog and constant communication in order to develop a “lateral relationship”(1), relying less on centralized control systems. Hence emergent behavior becomes apparent and provides the once individual systems to become a collective.

The investigation explores emergent behavior through a full-scale prototype loosely analogous to a flock of birds. The seemingly erratic behavior of a flock of birds questions the collective nature and attempts to apply this emergent behavior to a full-scale prototype composed 36 robotic bots (birds) that are able to detect each other and the presence of approaching objects. The desired outcome would provide simple rules that engage the bots to form emergent behavior in an interactive forum with spectators.

The Flock Wall was presented as in interactive display at the Coachella Music Festival in 2009. Michael Fox, instructor at Cal Poly led the effort.

(1) Fox, Michael. “Flock Wall.” Robotecture : Interactive Architecture – Home. Web. 12 Oct. 2009. <>.

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