By Victoria Shariati
From Jan. 21 to the 24, Ryerson Artspace featured an interactive student-made exhibit at the Gladstone Hotel as part of an annual alternative design event.
The piece, called Ripple, was originally created by nine architectural science students and was first shown at last year’s Nuit Blanche.
Ripple is an immersive experience that consists of a large ceiling panel, long metal wires, small bulbs, and a hidden keyboard. Each bulb is shaped like a raindrop and when pulled, a different musical note rings out.
The idea was born out of a fourth-year architecture class taught by Professor Vincent Hui. The students designed Ripple with the idea that users will be encouraged to experiment with music together.
“It’s a playful embodiment of the notion that we can all achieve more together than alone,” said Lily Jeon, first-year masters of architectural science student. “Every action creates a ripple effect.”
The appeal of Ripple lies in the fact that people have an inherent “mischievous” want to touch art and interact with it, said Jeon, who is 24.
Robyn Cumming, faculty director, said the Ryerson Artspace provides an “open-ended” venue in which students can see their creativity come to life in a professional setting. The space also offers five work-study positions, which enables artists to learn how to operate a professional gallery.
Through this process, students can engage with the Toronto art community and make connections according to Cumming.
Amina Lalor, a Waterloo architecture graduate, described the creative process behind Ripple as “hectic.” Since the project is so large, every team member had to be highly organized.
“It’s a lot of problem solving on the spot,” said Jeon. “There’s a lot of last-minute problem solving you have to do with architecture and art in general.”
For the Gladstone’s event, titled Come Up To My Room, Ripple took approximately three weeks to build. The team kept the materials that were used for Nuit Blanche.
“There was a moment of almost elation when you finish a project that you’ve been working on for a long time,” Lalor said of their experience at the October citywide art show. “It’s really satisfying.”
For Karina Osipian, Ripple was a fun way for her and her five-year-old daughter to spend time together.
Osipian found out about Ripple when she was eating at a neighbouring restaurant. A woman at the next table told her to check out the exhibit.
The best thing about Ripple was that it was interactive, said Osipian. Her daughter, Noella, was able to participate in it and had fun doing so.
“I find with kids, music is a really big thing,” said Osipian. “That was a really good experience for her, just being able to listen to music and touch things. Kids learn through that.”
Hafid Kadiri, a mill operator from Quebec, also enjoyed Ripple. He discovered the event while browsing Google.
The first time you look at the installation, you can tell that it’s something unique. He described Ripple as one of the best exhibits at the Gladstone.