Animate Arcade


2023 — Built

Architectural Design, Interior Architecture

Animate Arcade is a family of independent but related architectural “creatures” that populate the Siebel Center for Design, a new interdisciplinary design hub at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The creatures enhance the new building’s public spaces with intimate pockets of personable programming. Each architectural installation in the series activates the interior of the Siebel Center for Design by providing a specific amenity, including a welcome desk, a gateway arch, a mobile amphitheater backdrop for lectures/performances, and a roving exhibition display kiosk that has wandered away from the pack.

The creatures of the Animate Arcade embody animated characteristics like personality, posture, facial expressions, charisma, and attitude that collectively initiate companionship with their human visitors in order to prompt interactive engagement and levity. Architectural zoomorphism encourages us, as humans, to read the world as composed almost entirely of lively beings with character, which exist in relation to other beings, at a range of scales, and in various contexts. This way of seeing the world provides an opportunity to redefine our own human personhood, and to acknowledge all that we have in common with other creaturely companions of the built environment.

Design Team: Joseph Altshuler, Zack Morrison, Julia Sedlock, Efrain Araujo
Fabrication: Erica Gressman (Rainbolt Productions), Andrés Lemus-Spont (Building Brown Workshop)
Installation Assistants: Shravan Arun, Amir Zarei
Photography: Brian Griffin
Photography Assistants: Amir Zarei, Krishna Jayachandran Sailaja, Atousa Esmaeil, Alejandro Toro-Acosta