The Cricket Cloud

The Cricket Cloud

Nevin Lesnoski / Anthony Hodge


The Cricket Cloud is derived from the cricket’s natural notion to want to jump and climb. We first noticed this attribute when we began observing cricket behavior in material studies. It was found that they would rather occupy a higher plane rather than stagnate on the ground. We also observed that the crickets were very drawn to netting. We came to the conclusion that crickets experience space with touch. This is quite different than humans experiencing space with sight. In order to give the crickets a sense of enclosure, we wrapped the netting to create a circulating cloud. The cloud uses four thicknesses of netting to create private, public, and semi-private spaces for the crickets to experience. This encourages cricket interaction while still giving them a sense of privacy. The different spaces allow for the humans to see how crickets behave and what they prefer in a habitat.

The Cricket Cloud is derived of four defferent circulating paths, which occupy an elevated ground plane. The plane creates a canopy in which private, public, and semi-private spaces can be accessed by the cricket’s natural notion to climb and seek enclosure. Crickets experience space through touch; The Cricket Cloud caters to the main characteristics of Archea Domestica.

Observational Studies

Material StudyUntitled-1


Material StudyUntitled-5



Precedent Studies


Perspective Collage

Final Model


Project Team: Christa Radosavljevic and Laura Handleton

Site: Peabody Essex Museum

Collaborators: Amy Youngs

Project Proposal

Our guiding concept was to imagine the space from a crickets view since they will be inhabiting the space, while maintaining interest to humans.  Crickets have compound eyes made up of interlocking hexagon shapes.  We used these shapes to organize the space as a way of seeing the site from a cricket’s perspective.  We originally intended the hexagons as a floor design that would be extruded upwards to different levels.  Our next study models involved cutting notches in the hexagons to fit the 2D shapes together.  We eventually developed this further into hexagons which are abstracted into three dimensional modules.  These mimic the egg carton shape that crickets are comfortable in and provide hiding spaces for them, creating a comfortable environment for the crickets. Sandpaper creates a walkable path for the crickets, guiding them to the modules and encouraging them to climb and explore the shapes, while tulle creates an elevated path and allows them to fully experience the entire space.  The result is a structure that is comfortable for crickets and encourages them to explore while creating a dynamic space to interest the human museum goers.


Study Models

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Final Model




Front Perspective

Front rendering

Camera Perspective

Camera view

Cricket Perspective

Cricket Perspective Final

Wall & Pathway

Project Team: April Liu + Hui Yuan
Site: Peabody Essex Museum – Salem, MA
Collaborators: Amy Youngs

Project Proposal

The concept of this project is to create a series of structures which look like walls from human’s perspective but are more like pathways to crickets. These structures are made out of chipboard spray-painted white and covered with black wire mesh, which are materials crickets prefer to climb on. There are patterns cut out on the chipboard in order to make it somehow transparent and let more light go through, which also cast shadows of the same pattern on the walls around. The series of structure create a circulation that allows crickets to travel back and forth between the first and second floor. The circular and wavy shapes are encouraging crickets to move around instead of hiding in the corner where people cannot see.

Study Model Experiment


Chipboard covered with fabric


Chipboard covered with silver wire mesh


Chipboard, increased corners


Chipboard covered with balck wire mesh, eliminated corners

Final Model





Perspective Collages


Window Perspective

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Cricket Perspective

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Web-cam Perspective






When starting our design for this landscape installation for Amy Young’s cricket museum in Peabody Essex, Massachusetts, we began to look at the view from both the front window and the webcam. We observed that there were spaces hidden from view within the museum from both sources. In order to reveal those spaces, we used metal pieces as reflective structures within the space that bent to reveal places unseen by either the main window or webcam within the cricket museum.

First, we mapped out the hidden spaces created by the webcam and window.


Second, we took those shapes and reflected them into the space.


Third, we adjusted the position of the shapes in order to be able to reflect into the hidden places.


We turned these shapes into the reflective metal structures. Here, we reflected pieces of orange cricket chow.


Movement and light creates a changing environment that reveals the crickets’ most distinct characteristics: chirping and jumping. These are two things that are not often experienced by a static environment. Through this landscape installation, museum visitors are able to interact with the crickets and their environment, rather than merely observing the crickets.

The visitors of the museum have the option to explore how this process works. A pulley system using plastic strings controls the reflective pieces from outside of the cricket museum. When pulled, these structures modify the viewpoint, light, shadow, and experience for both crickets and humans within this installation.


A mesh path leads crickets around and between these pieces containing food, water, heat, shadow, and a cricket’s simulated natural environment within the museum.

FOOD DIAGRAM     circulation

Here are some pictures of crickets interacting with our installation.


This is what the installation looks like from a cricket perspective.




BY Cassie Giesken and Dominique Raymond

Social Sculpture (Cricket Museum Project)

  Social Scuplture is an installation for house crickets in a cricket museum. The small 2′ x 2′ x 2′ museum is an exhibit in an actually musuem (PEM). The cricket installation is based off how human perspective and cricket perspective correlates to one another in an installation for crickets. The way the installation is designed is also based on the movement, interaction, likes and dislikes of the house crickets.

The aluminum screen consists of multiple layers of flexible and manipulated aluminum door screen, suspended in the air. The layers of screen are connected at points to guide circulation, both vertically and horizontally through the site, as well as provide destination areas formed by hills and depressions. The result is a social sculpture relating to form, levitation, height, shadow and light.


Material Studies 2   Material Studes 1


CIMG0613    CIMG0626    CIMG0614


Window blog     Cricket persepective blog     Webcam_Perspective


CIMG0659       CIMG0661     CIMG0664


Bamboo and Beyond

Project Team: Mariel Fink, Alex Camponeschi
Site: Peabody Essex Museum – Salem, MA
Collaborators: Amy Youngs

Project Proposal

The concept of this installation is spatial, visual, and audial amplification. Mirrors are meant to reflect opposite walls and the inhabitants within the walls. The mirrors also visually extend the box and increase the imagery inside. Structures in the space serve as an amplification tool that projects the sound of the cricket chirp. The structures are lined with lights to project larger shadows of the crickets that would otherwise go unseen.

Bamboo scaffolding provides a sense of culture within the box. In the States, we view bugs as a pest. However, Chinese culture has a huge industry based on crickets.  Bamboo cages were traditionally used to house crickets so people could carry them around and hear their songs at all time.  The ends of the tape tubes are also based on the shape of the traditional bamboo gourd, with funnel-shaped ends to amplify the sound. This project highlights that industry and value of crickets, providing them with a home of “cricket luxury”.

Final Model

final box



Perspective Strip





Material Studies

mirrors materialstape materials



by Katherine Beaton and Kerry Gerich


The concept of this design was based on research and observations of crickets.  Creating a design in line with their inherent nature allows the crickets to engage in the installation.  The research indicated that crickets are sub-social, meaning that they lead a life with very limited social interaction.  Eliminating the crickets’ path around the perimeter leads them to a unifying common ground, acknowledging the necessity of connecting with others of their species.   This was accomplished by surrounding the perimeter of the space with grass, which is unattractive to the common “house” cricket.  In addition, crickets prefer textured surfaces, and have trouble climbing smooth surfaces.  For this reason, the ground plane and the lighting element were coated in sand, to encourage interaction with the installation. Crickets are very sensitive to the temperature, preferring room temperature to slightly warmer.  The frequency of their chirps can be affected by the temperature.  Incorporating a lighted spiral path provides a heat source, in addition to creating a physical connection between the museum visitors and the web-cam viewers.



Images of sand from study of materials

A cricket interacting with a textured, sandy surface

A cricket interacting with a textured, sandy surface











Bubble Wrap: The Shared Medium By: Katie Pettee and Tim McCready


Concept: Creating unique spatial experiences for humans and crickets through the interactive use of light and shadow.

Spatial experiences are constructed through the deliberate placement of light and bubblewrap to create shadows. These projected shadows are controlled through lighting fixtures on the ceiling of the installation. This interactive installation stimulates humans and Acheta domesticus through a shared medium, the bubblewrap. The crickets interact with the bubblewrap while the humans interact with light which in turn interacts with the bubblewrap, creating a joined interaction through sensory stimulation.

Material Study: Bubble Wrap

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Through the material study of the bubble wrap, it was discovered that the combination of light and bubblewrap created a unique shadow experience.

Our design is constructed using three different lights on three separate axes. The humans in the actual museum can interact with the individual lights on the top, to cast shadows through the bubble wrap within the insect museum, and in turn interact with crickets.

Lighting Diagram

Final Model Pictures:

From the museum perspective:


From the webcam perspective:


From the cricket perspective:


Loofah Mountain

Sean McNulty & Kara Scheetz

Our design is based loosely on the concept of a cricket den, and then incorporates materials we observed the crickets interacting as well as spatial qualities they seem to enjoy. The loofa makes a surface the crickets can easily and comfortably walking on, and the insulated pockets are a place for them to find shelter and food. Combining these two qualities created a spaces and surfaces the crickets were familiar with and an interesting aesthetic quality for humans to watch them engaging. The views of the museum are engaged by allowing the webcam to peer through the “cavern” of loofa created underneath and see the crickets walk above. The large window is engaged by seeing the installation as a whole and the crickets walk around on top of the loofa tent, as well as see through it.

nest diagramz

diagrams of the cricket den- the yellow represents the area used for circulation and the blue highlights the areas of destination.

Highlights of material studies.

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Study Models






























cricket perspectiveCRICKET WEBCAM












Final Model

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Your Project Title

Project Team: Your Name + Your Name
Site: Peabody Essex Museum – Salem, MA
Collaborators: Amy Youngs

Project Proposal (BOLD)

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