media-architecture - LAb[au]

Media architecture conference
Central Saint Martins Innovation, London, UK

Organized by: Media Architecture Group

invited speakers:
Rogier van der Heide (NL), Arup
Mirjam Struppek (GER), Interactionfield
Prof.Joachim Sauter (GER), Art+Com
Ruari Glynn (UK), interactive architecture
Jan Edler (GER), Realities United
Tim Pritlove (GER), Blinken Lights
Els Vermang (BE), LAb[au]
Alexander Stubic (GER), Dynamic Architecture
Prof. Bart Lootsma (NL), University of Innsbruck

LAb[au] invited at the media architecture Conference, London [ uk ] to talk about its recent creations for the Dexia Tower:
Touch, interactive urban installation
chrono.tower, generative light art
spectr[a]um, audio-luminous performance

About the panel:

Image/Architecture:There is a fundamental relationship between public imagery and architecture


which dates from the earliest built structures, and at one level new display technologies simply layer upon this history. However, at other levels new media are forging a paradigm shift in this relationship. Firstly, media façades already combine aspects of lighting and graphics in formats determined by the architecture, and differ fundamentally and not just in resolution from the rectilinear image. Secondly, moving imagery has increasingly become interactive and emergent - synthesized from or driven by information from the environment, whether it be from within the building or from the outside world, through channels such as the internet - displacing narrative clips originating in other media. Such notions of the building/environment as author promote lighting and image as significant elements of the visual perception of the three dimensional structure of the architecture.

The relationship between media architecture and fine art is less clear, however. Constraints of display resolution - often a fraction of a conventional video image - and complicated access from mobile devices reduce the potential scope of media art works. It is possible that imagery for architectural displays will become the preserve of a new class of content makers more closely related to the fields of lighting and event design than that of art.

About the conference:

The Impact of Large Scale Integrated Displays on Architecture and Urbanism. Developments in display technology and building materials are leading to new forms of hybrid architecture that break away from existing conceptions of surface, structure, lighting and moving imagery. Light Emitting Diode (LED) displays integrated with the fabric of built structures allow prominent imagery to be integrated with the façade, even in direct sunlight. Although energy requirements are practical only when displays are used in less bright conditions, there remain significant consequences for the townscape and urban environment; cinematic topias as pervasive as Minority Report and Blade Runner have become technically feasible.


The MediaArchitecture2007 conference creates a new discourse among the latest theoretical and practical approaches. By reviewing outstanding projects and presenting the views of key architectural theorists, media activists, planners, advertisers and artists, the conference will provide the first-depth consideration of the intersection of media and architecture - the premise that architecture and media issues will increasingly be considered together, at the conceptual stages of building planning. Image has become an architectural element; media increasingly pervade the built environment introducing an important ontological element.

Altering the architectural relationship between image and structure has several significant implications - not only for visual encounter with the completed building, but in terms of planning and construction processes. The emergence of intelligent construction materials, which themselves incorporate display and data components, departs markedly from existing façade implementations in which lighting and display products have been applied in building projects where the underlying architecture is already advanced. The media façade becomes a data system to be specified and commissioned with the expectation of lifetime and maintenance commensurate with other structural elements. Content - the data and imagery that it will carry during that lifetime - is very different from both the rectangular clip material now common on LED billboards and from programmed lighting effects.

MediaArchitecture2007 will address these inversions in several respects:
- the impact on architectural theory of practical media façade systems
- departure of imagery from the confines of the clip towards dynamic creative based on building management and external information
- the practical challenges of large scale displays for urban planning; display viewing design in public spaces
- sustainable display and image data systems that can be specified directly by architects and installed by the construction industry and which are maintainable over the lifetime of a media façade.


The conference will be formed of four panels with leading speakers invited from the academic community as well as major architectural practices and corporations providing and installing these new technologies.

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