On October 4th, a special interactive exhibit opened at The Curve gallery inside the Barbican Centre in London. The exhibit, called the Perpetual Rain Room, was created by the design team at the Chelsea-based Random International. The group have previously made one-of-a-kind installations which explore behaviour and interaction, and the Rain Room does not disappoint.
The Rain Room is precisely what it sounds like; a hundred square meter room where rain cascades down from the ceiling. However, visitors need not bring their rain gear; the room is equipped with sensory cameras which detect movement, sending the data to a program which controls where the rain falls. The program has been designed to allow rain only where visitors are not, allowing visitors to feel the moisture and hear the sound of rain without actually getting wet. The water that drips falls through a grid in the floor, is treated, and then sent back up to the ceiling to fall again.
On the Barbican Centre's website, a spokesperson for Random International explained; “Rain Room is the latest in a series of projects that specifically explore the behaviour of the viewer and viewers: pushing people outside their comfort zones, extracting their base auto-responses and playing with intuition. Observing how these unpredictable outcomes will manifest themselves, and the experimentation with this world of often barely perceptible behaviour and its simulation is our main driving force."