Made out of steel, this Waterfall swing is a piece of art from form and function that allows those swinging to go through a wall of water without ever getting a drop of water on them. This is thanks to the fact that as the person swinging approaches the flow of water, there becomes an opening which allows them to pass through, before closing, and then opening again to allow them back through on the backwards swing without getting wet.
[Image Source: Waterfall Swing]
The Waterfall swing is an amazing interactive sculpture and was designed between Andrew Witte, Andrew Ratcliff, Ian Charnas and Mike O`Toole, who are now taking their structure for a tour around the US in order to show it off.
The steel swing frame holds an array of mechanical solenoids which can create a plane of water, which is falling in the path of those swinging. It came about from many ideas that were raised during a study of interaction with water as space. It is said that the Waterfall Swing is just one of a series that will play along with interaction in installations and rides. The opening which allows those swinging to pass through is created by precision, with a computer monitoring the path through the axel-housed encoders, which gives a thrill of only narrowly escaping getting wet.
The water recirculates through solenoid valves, which there are 384, all of them being independently controlled at the top of the swing so as to create the wall of water. The water comes from the collection pool, which is situated on the ground and pumped upwards to a distribution pipe of 4 inches, feeding the solenoids. There are rotational encoders mounted, to gather information on the swing axis. These are able to get information such as the speed of each swing along with the angle of it. This information then gets relayed to a computer and this then predicts the rider’s action. It is the computer that creates the hole for the rider to swing their way through at precisely the right time.
If you think back to when you were a child and the thrill you got from soaring high on a swing, coupled with the therapeutic joy of water, you can imagine what a ride on the Waterfall Swing must feel like. I know I would like to try it out, what about you?