• Project – Toroidal – Slide 1
  • Project – Toroidal – Slide 2
  • Project – Toroidal – Slide 3
  • Project – Toroidal – Slide 4
  • Project – Toroidal – Slide 5
  • Project – Toroidal – Slide 6
  • Project – Toroidal – Slide 7


For her senior thesis at the School of Art & Design, Danielle Battaglia set out to visualize the universe. Working with the theory that the universe could be a multiverse based on budding toroidal forms, she created a 3D model of her idea, texture mapped stars on to it and installed her model into the virtual reality MIDEN at the 3D Lab in the Duderstadt Center. The result was an immersive, interactive experience that allowed users to travel through the universe with a game-controller.

Robert Alexander, a doctoral student in the Design Science Program at the University of Michigan, created the sound for the model. Some of these sounds were generated directly from raw satellite data, others were sonic representations of natural phenomena occurring in deep space. They were all generated with custom software, and some required the implementation of non-traditional tuning systems.

Journals, Publications, Presentations

  • Record Update, 2012 (Article)
  • Synthesis U-M Art & Design Senior Show (Exhibit)
  • Vice Media Inc., 2013 (Video excerpt)


(Overview of Danielle’s project, courtesy of U-M School of Art & Design)


This project has since completed and remains in our collection of demos available for showing in the MIDEN. A future planned showing for the public is being discussed.  If interested in seeing it, stay tuned to the website or visit us during our Open House events.


Danielle Battaglia
Project Lead & Digital Artist
Robert Alexander
Sonification Specialist
Ted Hall
Visualization Developer
Katherine Weider
Video Producer/Editor

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Multi-Sensing the Universe (Video)

Robert discusses his work in data sonification in this video, which features the MIDEN and the Toroidal Universe project from 1:07 to 1:52. Robert Alexander, a Ph.D. student in Design Science, uses the sun to make music. In the winter 2012 semester, he teamed with Danielle Battaglia, a senior in Art & Design, to compose and integrate audio effects into her …

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