‘Sentiment Cocoon’ by Moritz Behrens
and Konstantinos Mavromichalis


‘No.8@Arup’ is an annual competition that shines a spotlight on innovative installations and sculptures from talented designers and architectural practices. The idea is a simple one, we want to encourage emerging architectural practices to provide an opportunity to showcase their creativity in Arup’s London office.

The No.8@arup Installation is now in its third year. This year, entrants were asked to respond to the theme “Designing for People”, and consider how the No.8@arup Installation should reflect the need for occupants to be placed at the heart of a design brief. We aspire to create efficient and comfortable environments, where people are productive and also inspired, motivated, healthy and happy.


The Sentiment Cocoon is an interactive installation designed to capture people’s sentiments and then depict them through the medium of light.

The Sentiment Cocoon

The 20 metre high cocoon like structure will occupy the atrium space in Arup’s London office. Everyday people will be encouraged to share their sentiments via one of the dashboards that are installed on each of the five office floors. Individual swipe cards, similar to London’s Oyster card system, will enable participants to submit their sentiment for the day. A sophisticated algorithm will feed participants’ feelings through an interactive dashboard and these will be digitally projected into a LED light field which forms the spine of the cocoon.

Sentiments will be displayed through the installation using different colours and movement. Changes in colour gradients, and the velocity and movement of colour, will create different patterns to signify people’s changing moods. Over time, these patterns will become familiar to those working in the office, therefore, staff will be able to understand the overriding sentiment of the day within the office.

The Sentiment Cocoon is yet another example of the increasing proliferation of media architectural interfaces being used to mediate human behaviour with architecture. Arup is committed to exploring innovations in design and finding ways to stimulate creativity through playful experimentation. These social applications will ultimately lead to responsive, adaptable and clever buildings that serve human wellbeing.

“The independence of Arup allows our practice to invest in young designers. The making of an installation within our office replicates the challenge of delivering within a fast paced programme that is fun and rewarding”.
– Nigel Tonks, Building Engineering London Group Leader, Arup

“I am very excited by this year’s installation for No.8@Arup. Designed by Moritz Behrens and Konstantinos Mavromichalis, the Sentiment Cocoon is a fascinating combination of robotic construction, responsive design, and a beautiful illuminated sculpture”.
– Tristram Carfrae Arup Group Deputy Chairman and No.8@Arup Chair

Making-of the Sentiment Cocoon

The building process

This installation explores new ways of constructing as the sculpture will be fabricated in situ, by a robot. Commencing at 5:00pm on Friday 8th May, the robot, affectionately called “Einstein”, built segments of the sculpture and these were sequentially lifted into place at the end of each working day. The construction of the installation lasted one week.

The designers, Moritz Behrens & Konstantinos Mavromichalis, worked with an Arup Team from Building Engineering London and Lighting.

The Arup Team

Greg Chandler, Francesco Anselmo, Christian Derks, Billy Field, Karima Ihaouane and Farrah Hassan-Hardwick, supported by Health & Safety and Facilities Management staff.


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