Media Architecture grow at the intersection of physical and digital space, it is also the combination of art and technology, a fusion of architecture, communication, public art, urban science, sociology, economics, as well as LED technology, internet technology, interactive technology, intelligent control, computer science and other fields and disciplines.
Media Architecture have only emerged to the world less than 20 years, however it is developing very rapidly in recent years, especially in China, where it has become a powerful force, leading to the transformation of urban landscape as well as the changes of people’s mind. The development of Media Architecture is causing the changes in industry chain as well as the changes in the decision making process of building design, thus fosters the birth of new industries. Brings up entirely genuine challenges and opportunities, Media Architecture is an important trend in the 21st century architecture and urban development.
BCP Affinity is an interactive three-dimensional façade installation on the Banco de Crédito building in Lima, Peru.
The installation consists of three main parts; the 3D façade canvas with 6 layers of LEDs (covering 50 x 19 x 1.2 meters), the interactive LED outdoor podium (1.7 x 1.5 meters) with multi-touch sensors and the interactive and lighting control systems.
A slanting monolithic podium rises seamlessly from the plaza’s stonework, an array of Sensacell LED panels are diffused to provide an inviting but impressive representation of the façade at a human scale. Multi-touch electrostatic sensors detect a presence on the podium. A network of interactive servers remotely process the live input data, returning the interactive content simultaneously to the façade and back to the podium LEDs.
The public facing podium has a direct visual relationship with the façade creating an impressive but unifying experience. Stereo speakers flank the slanting podium, which delineates the space for expression. The podium senses 3D depth and provides a touch-less interface that transmits body movements, via live interactive programming, onto the 3D façade.
Each interactive show is based on natural phenomena that are designed to evoke a childlike engagement in adults; one forms a personal relationship with the experience that arises different emotions in different people. Each show has a unique interface that intuitively steers you to express yourself. Much like a musical instrument, people generate their own composition but smart algorithms are working in the background ensuring a beautiful encounter. There is no option but to be playful. One can push aside Rain, ignite explosive fireworks or touch the Aurora Borealis. Our aim is to breakdown people’s mental barriers, opening them up to participate by exposing them to the creative process.
Ultimately all the technology is designed to become transparent, leaving only a magical experience and feelings evoked by the encounter.
digitalMatatus won a Media Architecture Award in the category participatory architecture and urban interaction.
digitalMatatus illustrates how anyone can leverage technology in developing countries and cities around the world to collect data for an essential infrastructure, give it out freely, and in the process encourage the government to develop channels to provide better access to information. Conceived out of collaboration between American and Kenyan Universities, partnering with Nairobi’s growing technology and design sector. This project captured data on the matatu system, Nairobi’s informal transit system, developed mobile routing applications and designed a new transit map for Nairobi that changed how both residents and government navigate the system.
digitalMatatus is a project to map Nairobi’s informal bus system, tests this idea by collecting data using mobile technology, opening it up to anyone to use, and creating tools and maps to make this data more visible and accessible. Nairobi’s informal bus system, considered chaotic by nature, with hundreds of different operators, was synthesized into one organized public map which we realeased in January 2014. For the first time, the people of Nairobi saw the Matatus as a comprehensive system that could be planned for and navigated fully.
Informal buses, called Matatus, make up the Nairobi transit landscape. Run by hundreds of privately owned companies licensed by Nairobi’s City Government, Matatus range from 32 seat vehicles to small vans that can hold up to 14 passengers. Almost everyone in Nairobi uses Matatus as they are the main form of transit, yet maps or data of the system have not been developed. The lack of data has made it hard for residents to know how to navigate their city, but more importantly it has created limitations for urban planners involved in understanding movement in the city.
We released our map with support from Matatu owners, the Nairobi government, the tech community, NGOs, Matatu operators and Nairobi’s commuters. The maps were distributed in newspapers and went viral on social media – where links were posted to download the map. The government leveraged the maps release by making it evidence that they were addressing the chaotic and dangerous nature of the Matatu system – a constant request of Nairobi’s citizens. Matatu drivers and owners responded to the maps by identifying locations underserved by the system and planning new routes for those locations. The data itself has already been used by urban planners and developers in transport modeling and mobile apps for navigating Nairobi.
Thorsten Bauer was a keynote speaker at the MAB14, invited by our partner ONLYGLASS GMBH. In his presentation he will talk about “media architecture”.
URBANSCREEN is a Bremen based creative company, internationally known by their large-scale projections on urban surfaces.
Christoph Sodemann met Thorsten Bauer in Bremen and talked with him about his views on media architecture and current projects of URBANSCREEN. “URBANSCREEN takes a special part in the field of media architecture. We have an artistic approach and come from the content side. During the past years we developed highly artistically driven temporary installations and projection mapping.”
“Through our experience we have a specific point of view to media architecture. In Aarhus I’d like to show some works and our standpoint how we think content for permanent installations should be developed.”
“We really have to make up our minds how to deal with media architecture, especially in terms of over-information at the public space. You can point out a lot of critical aspects. We have to figure out a clever way how to deal with media facades and permanent installations.”
“Klubhaus St. Pauli in Hamburg is one of our new projects, where you really can play out the power of media facades.“
The project Dia lights / Urban canvas won a Media Architecture Award in the category Money architecture.
In May 2013, The Confederation of Danish Industry (DI) moved back into their rebuilt headquarters at Raadhuspladsen in the heart of Copenhagen. The extensive architectural task has been carried out by Transform who has redesigned the physical manifestation of the DI.
The new exterior part of the building consists of a great media façade, as a beacon of aesthetics in a sea of visual noise flowing in and around one of the most heavily trafficked intersections in Copenhagen. A team consisting of Kollision, Martin Professional and Transform worked with DI in designing and developing a language of light in line with the DI brand, exploiting the diagonal nature of the LED-structure on the façade.
The new exterior part of the building consists of a 4,000 m2 media façade, as a beacon of aesthetics in a sea of visual noise flowing in and around one of the most heavily trafficked intersections in Copenhagen.
The different light designs have been turned into generic plugins that fit into Kollision’s player-system. These light plugins can be controlled by the graphical department at DI who can tweak and modify parameters like speed, colors, and direction creating thousands of different expressions – still within the limits of each plugin. The team behind the project has worked on developing a design manual for how the dynamic content of the façade can change during day, night, seasons and special occasions.
As part of the media façade Kollision created the interactive plugin, ‘Urban Canvas’ that allows by-passers to interact with the façade by using their smartphones. By entering a mobile website, users can paint on the façade by swiping their finger across the touch screen of their smart phone, instantly painting with light on building. Multiple users can use the system simultaneously; creating a busy and playful collaborative artwork that keeps on changing. The ‘Urban Canvas’ was developed in dialogue with DI and implemented for the first time at ‘Culture Night 2013’ in Copenhagen.