‘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.
See the Live Video Feed
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 ( www.dexia-tower.com ) where people can retrieve their postcard, as electronic and printable format, with Christmas and New Year’s wishes from Brussels. Artists: LAB[au] – Architects: Philippe Samyn & Partners, M & J.M. Jaspers – J. Eyers & Partners – Lightning engineer: Barbara Hediger
January 3rd, 2007
SandScape is a tangible interface for designing and understanding landscapes through a variety of computational simulations using sand. Users view these simulations as they are projected on the surface of a sand model that represents the terrain. The users can choose from a variety of different simulations that highlight either the height, slope, contours, shadows, drainage or aspect of the landscape model.
The users can alter the form of the landscape model by manipulating sand while seeing the resultant effects of computational analysis generated and projected on the surface of sand in real-time. The project demonstrates an alternative form of computer interface (tangible user interface) that takes advantage of our natural ability to understand and manipulate physical forms while still harnessing the power of computational simulation to help in our understanding of a model representation. via WMMNA
November 16th, 2006
Super Cilia Skin by Hayes Raffle, Mitchell Joachim, & James Tichenor is a tactile and visual system consisting of an array of actuators that are anchored to an elastic membrane. These actuators represent information by changing their physical orientation. See Paper
Each actuator is a felt-tipped rod with a magnet at it’s base. The rods are anchored to a silicone membrane with two plastic nuts. These actuators oscillate in response to a magnetic force below the surface of Super Cilia Skin. This force alters the angle of the actuators on the upper surface. The prototype of Super Cilia Skin was designed to be operated by the Actuated Workbench which uses a computer to control an array of 128 electromagnets, smoothly moving magnetic objects on its surface.
Applied on an architectural scale, Super Cilia Skin would act as a display surface reflecting changes in local or global conditions. On a smaller scale, an object surrounded by Super Cilia Skin might propel itself across the floor or be able to propel objects across its surface. via Karen at Mr. Watson
October 18th, 2006
As you may have seen there’s a tutorials page attached to the blog which I’ve had online as long as the blog has been running. I’ve been meaning to build up a tutorials section of links to other websites and books about physical computing, hacking appropriated technology etc but just haven’t got around to doing so. Its mainly aimed at students interested in interactive installations and devices of any kind for the time being. I get quite a few emails from architecture, design and art students asking about learning how to use basic electronics and programming etc so I’ve added a few essential links in the last couple of days but would really like to make it a more comprehensive resource. Have you got any suggestions? I will of course credit those who pass on their suggestions so please leave your name and website if you’ve got one.
Thanks so much and hopefully I may see some of you at transmediale in Berlin which is where I’m off on a holiday for a week starting tomorrow. Hurrah!
image from the excellent ‘low-tech sensors and actuators project’ by Usman Haque and Adam Somlai-Fischer
February 2nd, 2006