Mathieu Rivier: Light fantastic

Swiss interaction designer Mathieu Rivier's mesmerising work uses light and digital technology to delight.

Interaction designer Mathieu Rivier's mesmerising interactive artworks speak louder than words. The graduate of École cantonale d'art de Lausanne (ECAL) in Renens, Switzerland, has a penchant for working with light as a medium to dramatic effect. 

His sculpture Light Form explores different forms of interaction using a faceted landscape as an interface. When the user touches and strokes the facets, various animations and sounds are played.

For Twist, Rivier collaborates with Benjamin Muzzin to create an installation using 15km of white wool threads stretched across the roof structure of Langenthal's Markthalle for the Design Prize Switzerland event. It was originally conceived for an exhibition commissioned by textile manufacturer Lantal and took its inspiration from the machinery in Lantal's factories that weave threads into fabric. The threads become the backdrop for a video projection that illuminates and brings them to life.

For Salon Hanté, the artist again pairs light and sound to create an interactive experience. The project was part of the Foire à Guévaux workshop, which invited artists to produce work in the 18th-century castle of Guévaux, Switzerland. Rivier collaborated with Joëlle Aeschlimann and Pauline Saglio to give an out-of-tune piano, ravished by time, a new life. Lights and a projector were connected to the keys, resulting in combinations of sound and light when the keys were hit. The spectacular visual result overrides the false notes and invites even the most inexperienced players to try a tune.

Rivier is currently working as an assistant in the Media and Interaction Design unit at ECAL and continues his self-initiated work.