December 3, 2010

Video: Media facades: When buildings start to twitter

During the day, façade structures with their windows and material combinations grant a specific building image to the public. However, after sunset electrical light is the medium for an architectural image. The light appearance sends an atmospheric signal to the citizens like hang on in front of an asleep structure, look at an inviting but static façade or enjoy a vivid architecture sharing short stories like tweets. In the last decade, media facades have become a widespread element for luminous short messages. They establish a network between the building owner and the citizens, sometimes driven by aesthetical debates, other times by commercial intentions to avoid traditional light advertisement. The pursuit of persuasion by way of big screens gives the impression that size receives a higher relevance than content, comparable with the large amount of trivial tweets in Twitter. Various media facades appear as monumental monologues repeating a fixed animation daily. A few facades use signals from the environment and transform them into a play of light and shadow. Others emerge as urban dialogues when buildings show combined moving pictures. Some even allow people to send messages to the building to receive luminous retweets. They turn the city into a community following the dialogue and with the respective Apps may possibly even gain a following community worldwide.

- Thomas Schielke, arclighting:
- Parsons The New School for Design, New York:

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