Pulse – by Electroland

Pulse is a 45 meter LED facade display being activated by passing traffic. It shows light patterns based on the passing vehicles.
2009, Los Angeles, California

Posted via web from Expanded Memory

Open Up Workshop – projects for the LED FACADE at the MediaLab-Prado

Open Up is an advanced project development workshop for the digital facade of Medialab-Prado. From February 9 through 23, working groups will develop selected projects in a collaborative way.

The event includes theoretical activities February 9, 10 and 16 with lectures by the teachers of the workshop and also Erkki Huhtamo and Jennifer Steimkamp.

Tutors include Jordi Claramonte, Chandler McWilliams, Casey Reas and Víctor Viña. Directed by Nerea Calvillo.

The selected projects that are currently being developed in the workshops can be found here. Also, the working process is being documented through the workshop blog.

About the facade

Langarita–Navarro Arquitectos‘ Led wall at the Medialab-Prado in central Madrid is an interactive façade that aims to be a space for exchange and communication with both visitors and locals, a commission by the Madrid Town Council to develop social interaction and to offer a new digital landmark for their city which is often so closely guarded from development. 144m2 of wall space is covered with some 35,000 Led nodes that are configured to allow both still and moving imagery, allowing the wall, with it’s simple traditional madrileño definition to come alive with psychedelic imagery.

More technical info on the digital facade can be found here.

Posted via web from Expanded Memory

Engaging Walls

© Watermarks Project

© Watermarks Project

“Walls are becoming screens” was the title of a recently published article in Süddeutsche Zeitung, featuring work and an interview with Ron Wood from Microsoft Research (not from the Rolling Stones for that matter…). This statement holds true for quite a number of media art and research projects having appeared in recent years, and is probably the reason why there is this very research blog you are reading now.

The notion that urban building structures can serve as a surface layer for dynamic visual design, but also as a physical element being mirrored and cited by the dynamic mediations itself, has been exemplarily shown in projects like the 555Kubik facade by urbanscreen.com, or the urban projections by easyweb.

Some examples I came across and that struck me with their formal simplicity yet highly appropriate transfer of their subject and its immediate environmental impact are being presented here:

© Watermarks Project

© Watermarks Project

The watermarks project by Chris Bodle and Claire Underhill. This is an excerpt from their project description:

Sea levels are rising due to climate change… but how much could they rise and how quickly? And how could this affect the world’s coastal cities.

Watermarks is an ongoing public art project that explores these questions. Between 6th and 12th February 2009 a series of large-scale projections were displayed at sites across the centre of Bristol (UK).

In Bristol, flood level marks were projected on to the sides of buildings, showing how high water levels could potentially rise as the sea inundates the central, low lying areas of the city. By displaying these levels in real space, the project aimed to help the audience imagine the depth and extent of this potential future flooding – allowing us to measure the possible future water levels against ourselves in familiar environments.

The Bristol projections were the first phase of Watermarks – further phases will extend the project to other cities in the UK and globally.

Climate on the Wall

Climate on the Wall

Another similar project is “Climate on the Wall” by the Danish Center for Digital Urban Living at Aarhus University. The simplicity of the interaction metaphor it is using (magnetic poetry, most of us might know from various flat-share kitchens) guarantees an enjoyable interaction experience, not only with the dynamic system, but also together with other people and passers-by.

The way the projected words are formally adapted to oversized dynamic speech bubbles nicely involve individuals into the mediated scene. Often, public installations or media facades at building scale exactly fail at this point, and sometimes are not much more than mere decorative elements within the urban landscape. However, as this example is showing, a simple yet playful interaction taking into account its geographical and individually public location is a great opportunity for mediated architecture and display.

Digital Water Pavillon

DWP Day two-008998

© Digital Water Pavillon at http://www.dwp.qaop.net

The Digital Water Pavillon has been designed and built for the Expo in Zaragoza 2008 as a tourit office and information point for the Digital Mile project. Its facade is made of a digitally controlled water curtain, acting as a permeable division between outside and inside.

It contains over three thousand digitally-operated solenoid valves, twelve hydraulic pistons, several dozen oil and water pumps, a camera-operated control system, a good deal of controlling software, and many other components.

DWP day tre-009110

© Digital Water Pavillon

The building itself seems like a kinetic object, sensing and reacting to the nearby environment and able to transform not only its wet surface, but also its shape according to the current usage. It is becoming a central point for retrieving information, but even more importantly for playful interaction, where people are enjoying themselves.

The Pavilion is down, in closed operational mode. The roof is on the ground, covered by a thin layer of water. Only two volumes in glass, containing the Digital Mile info point and the tourist office, project upwards. It is a new medium, and a rather exceptional one. It is made of thousands of closely spaced solenoid valves put in a row along a pipe suspended in the air. The valves can be opened and closed, at high frequency, via computerized controls. This produces a curtain of falling water with gaps at specified points – a pattern of pixels created from air and water instead of illuminated points on a screen.
The entire surface becomes a one-bit-deep digital display continuously scrolling downwards. Something like an inkjet printer on a huge scale. So, how to make really fluid, reconfigurable architecture? Our building aims to stand as a possible answer to that endeavor. Fluid in the literal sense of the word. But also fluid as a reconfigurable, responsive building. The difference between wall and door can disappear. Facades can become a continuous medium that open and close interactively. The water itself is dynamic: it can display graphics, patterns and text. But, most importantly, it can almost become alive with patterns that are generated in real time, replicated from one point to another and which respond to the nearby environment. The presence of people can be sensed by the DWP and this plays an important role in the dynamic process, allowing waves and other distortions to be generated.

DWP day tre-009077

© Digital Water Pavillon

Carlo Ratti, director of the Senseable City Lab at MIT, describes the project in his talk at LIFT Conference (towards the end, around 17min 50 sec):

Carlo Ratti “The Sensable City” (Lift09 EN) from Lift Conference on Vimeo.

Project partners included:

La Vitrine

La Vitrine – Montreal from steven bulhoes on Vimeo.

La Vitrine is “Montreals’s cultural window”, a tourist information office promoting cultural events in the Greater Montreal Area.  They have been recently installing a permanent outdoor interactive wall, featuring a low-resolution led matrix and built-in sensor technology.

From the press release:

Thanks to the creative talent of Moment Factory, passersby can come interact with the luminous forms displayed on the giant screen. A technical and artistic achievement, the screen is lit with 35,000 LED bulbs and is an achievement of the Quartier des spectacles Partnership in collaboration with La Vitrine.

via computerarts.ca