Nicole Aptekar

2006 / 2πr

2πr is a blisteringly interactive large-scale fire toy. It is a central stage surrounded by a larger ring of inconspicuous flame effects – completely innocuous to onlookers – until a participant makes it come alive. It consists of two concentric rings: The inner ring is a 3ft tall circular platform, 6ft in diameter. Around the edge of this platform are 32 infrared proximity sensors placed at regular intervals. Each sensor is linked to a corresponding flame effect in the outer ring, which is 50ft in diameter. When the IR sensor detects an object passing over the emitter, a corresponding flame effect is triggered, producing a large burst of fire.

This project has been actively evolving since its initial construction, and the latest iteration has it in the air, rather than at ground level. It was recently shown at the Smukfest music festival in Denmark.

My roles on 2πr:

* Initial concept
* Lead designer
* Concept art, imagery and modeling
* Grantwriting and financial strategy
* Fuel system design and fabrication
* Interface design
* Flame effects design and fabrication
* Crew coordination and logistics

Further Resources:

* [project site](
* [imagery on flickr](
expanded taxonomy
new exploration paper