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FOLLY

Folly - © Open ConstructsThe Pavilion FOLLY was the result of a workshop at the Media Architecture Biennale 2014 in Aarhus Denmark. Participants put together the blocks to shape the pavilion as they wanted. Pathways throughout the pavilion were created to offer a variety of ways to circulate and experience the spatial qualities of the pavilion and its projections.Participants also programmed their own affects that were projected onto the pavilion.

Folly - © Open Constructs

Concept


During the 20th century the study of cybernetics offered an explanation for ecosystems in nature to achieve stability. Resulting from this was a popular view of nature that it is constructed on the premise of homeostasis: that is, it is proposed as a closed system with various feedback loops which, despite changing external conditions, is able to sustain a stable inner economy of energy pro¬duction and consumption. This is apparent when examining the theories of Jay Forester, a cybernetics professor at MIT and creator of the early warning system during the cold war, who believed that the whole world was just a network of systems with feedback loops. Ecology as machine, machine as ecology — everything can be explained and controlled as a system begins to sink in the public’s imagination, despite various failed test re¬sults by other prominent ecologists.

This project proposes a new way to look at the interweaving of the natural world and urban life through the use of new media and architecture. Rather than trying to manage the relationship between the natural and built environment with computation (and its metaphors) this project sets out to augment the natural world. Thus creating artificial environments that evokes the organic. An architecture that artificially amplifies the experiences of nature that is diminishing in the urban context.

This was done by reproducing the affect of nature in a new abstract manner via VVVV programming and projecting this onto a public pavilion. Here the affect produced and its experiential qualities is the goal of the project. Resulting in a new type of public pavilion/infrastructure for cities.

Folly - © Open ConstructsFolly - © Open ConstructsDesign Lead:
Anna Ulak ( University of Toronto ), Philipp Rahlenbeck ( Multitouch Berlin )

Team:
Alya Grishko, Marcus Foth, Cristina R.Maier, Piotr Celewicz, Meletis Stathis, Urs Basteck, Giulia Panadisi, Michelangelo Vallicelli, Jeanette Falk Olesen, Flores Thomas, Lloyd Emelle, Ana Moutinho, Winnie Soon, Hanna Schneider

Video:
Multitouch Berlin

Affinity

BCP Affinity © Claudia Paz Studio
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.

 © Claudia Paz Studio  © Claudia Paz Studio  © Claudia Paz Studio

Winner: digitalMatatus


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.

Credits

Interview: Thorsten Bauer



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.“

Winner: Dia lights / Urban canvas



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.

Credits

Ben Stricker, Wolfgang Leeb

Ben Stricker, Wolfgang Leeb, members of the Media Architecture Institute, talk about the installation called City bug report, created for the city hall tower of Aarhus. They equipped the railings of four floors in the tower with LED strips. This setup allowed to display some low-res images in different sides of the building. They successfully tackled all the challenges related to the installation of more that 4000 LEDs from AHL on the tower. For that they got the help from the production team of CAVI in Aarhus. Installing power and signaling across different floors proved to be a demanding task, that took about three days to be completed. However they succeeded in their attempt and the installation became a reality.

Jaimie Allen

Jaimie Allen talks about the doctoral consortium at the Media Architecture Biennale. He mentions that the consortium is a forum where people coming from different backgrounds and departments can meet and discuss about topics that are shared. It is an opportunity to transgress the rigid structures of the university and talk in a relaxed environment about the own research and experiences. For example persons working on Interaction design or electronics can talk with people looking at public spaces.

Alexander Wiethoff, Martin Tomitsch

Alexander Wiethoff, Martin Tomitsch, members of the Media Architecture Institute, talk about the workshops of the Media Architecture Biennale. There is a broad spectrum of workshops formats, including industry, hands-on, and studio tours. In a way they represent that Media Architecture is a broad field, that includes media artists, researches at HCI and local designers. The workshops are a platform to communicate and exchange ideas about media, technology and architecture in the city. The interdisciplinary collaboration is a key aspect of the workshops, and they represent an opportunity to exchange ideas, knowledge and include such into to the own practice.

Alexandros Tsolakis – David Bajt

Alexandros Tsolakis and David Bajt from United Visual Artists talk about the working process at U.V.A. and how the creative process is steered to achieve the best results. Brain storming plays an important role in their work process, it allows them to collect ideas which are later distilled and polished by the team. They also talk how model building and prototyping work also plays an important role in the creative process, and getting away from the computer can boost actually improve the results and accelerate the testing of ideas. Especially lighting can be better tested through models, as lighting simulation can be a time intensive activity that nevertheless does not delivered the best results.

Gernot Tscherteu

In this video Dr. Gernot Tscherteu talks about the exhibition of the Media Architecture Biennale. He mentions that the exhibition has become a meeting place for designers, architects, and academics working in the area. He also explains that the projects exhibited at the Media Architecture Biennale are also available online, or through an iPad app. You can visit the online exhibition at catalog.mediaarchitecture.org