this happened…

This happened... Some of the talks so far.

This happened... Some of the talks so far.

This happened is a series of events focusing on the stories behind interaction design. Having ideas is easier than making them happen. We delve into projects that exist today, how their concepts and production process can help inform future work.

Interaction design companies are often too closed off to the outside. We want to encourage people to be more open in their methods and ideas. We aim to have a mix of established practitioners, commercial companies and students. We want to encourage the perspectives from the other side of the fence, so will also be inviting curators and commissioners of work to give presentations.

New Book on Media Facades

Media Facades. By M. Henk Häussler. AV Edition

Media Facades. By M. Hank Häussler. AV Edition

A new book on the subject of media facades and technologies, recently published by AV-Edition

Hank Häussler introduces categories for the technical integration of dynamic media into building structures and facades. giving various examples of each type, the book is an extensive resource and collection of contemporary media architecture.

Some of Hanks work was also on display here

Lights On at AEC

lights on from thesystemis on Vimeo.

Architectural lighting installation at the Ars Electronica Center in Linz.

lights on is an audio visual performance created for the Ars Electronica museum in Linz, Austria, which has a facade that contains 1085 LED controllable windows. The windows’ colors are changed in realtime with music that’s broadcasted on speakers surrounding the building.

The project is an impressive example of the use of openframeworks, a c++ library developed by zachary lieberman, joel gethin lewis and damien stewart from yesyesno. Vimeo shows a number of other projects developed with this library, which is currently in a pre-release phase.

Nicolas Schöffer

Nicolas Schöffer (1912-1992)

Nicolas Schöffer (1912-1992)

Quite an interesting figure as a sculptural artist, and at the forefront of kinetic art, Nicolas Schöffer is acknowledged to be the father of “cybernetic art”.

Already in 1948, he created the term “spatiodynamique”, which he defined as he constructive and dynamic integration of space into sculptural work.

In 1954, he created a 50m high “sound cybernetic tower” for the 1st Salon Bâtimat in Paris.

A major project was the 1961 Cybernetic Tower of Liege (52 m high – 66 revolving mirrors – 120 colored projectors – photoelectric cells and microphones), together with a 1500 m2 animated coloured performance on the facade of the Palace of Congress. This Light Wall or “Mur Lumière” was constantly transforming thanks to moving and colored spot lights. Some of these luminodynamic effects could be controlled, modified and altered by the users/audience.

1961 The Cybernetic Tower of Liege & le Mur Lumière

1961 The Cybernetic Tower of Liege & le Mur Lumière

In 1970, Schöffer also proposed a monumental 324m high responsive kinetic light tower for Paris-la-Défense.

1970 La T.L.C. de Paris-la-Défense

1970 La T.L.C. de Paris-la-Défense

It was only through adverse circumstances, that this project never was put into place:

Connue et attendue par le monde entier, elle aurait été installée au Point M de La-Défense pour 1990, si un concours de circonstances malheureuses n’avaient empêché sa construction. Nicolas Schöffer considérait qu’elle existait “virtuellement” du fait de l’accomplissement parfait de tous les travaux préliminaires des diverses Entreprises constituées en Société Civile de Construction et d’Exploitation. Le général de Gaulle l’avait acceptée, le Président Pompidou donnait la garantie de l’Etat… et la presse du monde entier avait longuement raconté le projet et diffusé interviews et photos… A l’avant-garde de tous les projets existants, elle est encore plus facilement réalisable “matériellement” aujourd’hui du fait des nouvelles technologies.

16 years later, Schöffer again proposed his La-Défense tower project for Liberty Parc, New Jersey. But once again, through unforeseen circumstances (this time the events of 9/11), the construction plans were put off in 2001 by the mayor of NYC.

A smaller version (26m) of a “Tour Lumière Cybernétique” has been installed permanently in Kalocsa (Hungary) in 1982. Microphones capture sounds from an industrial area and public nearby, which are used as parametric input for the programming of colored projections and moving mirrors.

Here’s the link.

Interactive Intelligent Environment

A visual elaboration of the desired adaptive illumination facility. By Acconci Studio.

A visual elaboration of the desired adaptive illumination facility. By Acconci Studio.

NYC based Acconci Studio and people from the artificial intelligence research center at Università degli Studi di Milano–Bicocca have published a concept paper for a self-organized adaptive environment:

The ambient intelligence scenario depicts electronic environments that are sensitive and responsive to the presence of people. This paper will present an ambient intelligence system that is not aimed at providing some form of electronic service to its users, but whose goal is rather to enhance the experience of pedestrians moving inside the related physical environment.

Here’s a link to the paper and a related concept video.