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Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL

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Helen Evans and Heiko Hansen

  • On February 16, 2006

interactive architecture

HeHe (Helen Evans and Heiko Hansen) reverse cultural engineers the technological systems that surround us: From transport design to pollution monitoring, from public advertisement to meteorology, from architecture to public lightning. Their work seeks to go back in time, re-work past and as a result, re-phrase the existing into a new critical usage, a social function, with the spectator in its epicentre. Here's a quick synopsis of their projects over the past couple of years that I found most relevant to interactive architecture

Interactive Architecture related Projects
‘Atteindre le Silence'

interactive architecture

‘Atteindre le Silence' is a site-specific work that amplifies the vibrations of a space. The installation rendered the listed parquet floor into a sensitive surface, so that as people walked, they caused fluctuations in light and triggered sounds in the space. The idea corresponds to the past and present usage of the space; which was built as a grand ballroom and now serves as a space for theatre, dance and exhibitions. Following the symmetry and pattern of the rococo architecture, an interactive electronic system was integrated with the interior so that it is hardly noticeable to the visitor. It operated as an oversized electronic circuit, designed to metamorphose any micro vibrations within the space. The salon of the château became a reactive space that was stirred by those who moved within it. ‘Atteindre le silence' is a work that asks people to be still. As people moved, any vibrations on the floor manifestly shifted electrical voltages around the space. The force, duration and location of vibrations coming from the ballroom floor determined the sound oscillations in space and altered the intensity of the light pulses coming from the chandeliers.

Bruit rose

interactive architecture

Bruit rose (Pink noise in English) is a musical term that describes a random electronic noise across all sound frequencies which sounds tolerable for the human ear. The interaction of this work is based on visualising the ambient sounds in the environment aswel as the passerby.

interactive architecture

The light emmitting panels of the work are usually used to divulge numerically formatted information. Here, they are instead détourné from this didatic function and serve as an animated visual, disengaged from all the gloss that usually occupies this urban advertising space.


interactive architecture

LoFi tranforms as architectural facade into a graphical equaliser, that responds to the music played inside the concert room of the venue.

light brix

interactive architecture

Modular light system for architecture, which reacts to the electromagnetic fields generated by touch.


interactive architecture

Twilight unfolds the potential of interactivity within an aesthetic dimension. It begins with a paper windmill offered to the visitor to blow onto. This action triggers a wave of glimmering light that propagates across the screen, floating in space, composed of 256 fragile paper pixels, each one consisting of an LED.

interactive architecture

The movement of light depends on the force of the air that is propagated: a gentle blow will create a static image whilst a harder blow will carry a tide of light, faster and more dynamic. The action of the visitor induces an acoustic response and the environment seems to begin to breath.

interactive architecture

Via New Media & Interactivity


  1. We were attracted to your work by a colleague from Manchester in Australia, who works in Helsinki and who’s spiritual home is Paris. We’re in Manchester developing the art strategy for the Transport Network – where the principle is to commission ONLY temporary art. We love the work with accumulated data and also the work i=on the power station in Helsinki. Would be great to use an image to illustrate the strategy and also open a dialogue about getting you involved in the implementation etc.

  2. LEFT: HeHe (Helen Evans and Heiko Hansen), Pollstream Nuage Vert (Green Cloud), 2008. ?© Mika Yrj?¶l?¤. RIGHT: HeHe (Helen Evans and Heiko Hansen), Pollstream Nuage Vert (Green Cloud), 2008. ?© Antti Aahonen.

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