Touch, interactive urban illumination Brussels' Dexia Tower
article by Ruairi Glynn
'Touch' is a project by the Belgian digital design and art lab, LAb[au], Laboratory for Architecture and Urbanism. The project takes as a starting point Brussels' 145 m high Dexia Tower, from which 4200 windows can be individually colour-enlightened, by RGB-led bars, turning the façade into an immense display.
Instead of considering this infrastructure as a flat screen (surface) displaying pre-rendered video loops, the project is working on the architectural characteristics of the tower and its urban context. The characteristics of the building; orientation, volume, scale... are used as parameters to set up a spatial, temporal and luminous concept, which moreover allows people to directly interact with the tower.
On Place Rogier, at the bottom of the tower, a station is mounted where people can interact either individually or collectively with the visual and luminous display (= the tower) through a multi touch screen. Both static (touch) as dynamic input (gesture) is recognized to generate an elementary graphical language of points, lines and surfaces combined with physical behaviours (growth, weight, ...) taking a monochromatic colour palette (background) combined with black and white (graphical elements).
Once a composition is created, it can be sent as an electronic postcard with a snapshot from the tower, taken from a distant location. It is also uploaded on the specific project website
where people can retrieve their postcard, as electronic and printable format, with Christmas and New Year's wishes from Brussels.
Architects: Philippe Samyn & Partners, M & J.M. Jaspers - J. Eyers & Partners
Lightning engineer: Barbara Hediger
Metalab02 History Navigator (requires the Adobe Flash Player 8+).