If we regard symbols and signs as a special form of media then it’s obvious that the history of media architecture is quite old. Venturi made it clear that symbolism always played an important role in architecture throughout all phases of history and so one might ask: What’s so special about all those new buildings that we consider to be media architecture? This question seems to be even more justified as images, symbols, Nneon Snigns are consistent element of modern cities since the beginning of the 20th century. The constructivist answer to all this kind of question is very easy: Exploring something new is less the characteristic of the object observed but more a cognitive process in the observer. So the right question would be: What’s so special about us that we consider buildings to be media architecture? Is it because we want to do projects in this field or write publications about it? That’s certainly also the case; But the basic reason for talking about media architecture or mediatecture or interactive architecture or however we might call it is that we see new forms of shiny interactive buildings and start to have visions and theories about the meaning and possibilities of this development. So it’s of course us who construct new buzzwords and assign meaning to them. Under the bottom line we have to ask ourselves whether a specific term or discourse brings us closer to understanding what’s going on and to finding adequate means for solutions - for us individually s but also for us as society. That’s a question everyone has to answer for him/herself. So its probably the best that I show some of my observations and explain what I mean when talking about media architecture and a bit later what kind of challenges arise from this new area and what we as a research group want to contribute as solutions. Let me show some of the projects that I consider to be important in these context. In order to present them in a more meaningful way I’d like to assign them different characteristics by drawing some distinctions. Let me start with observations about different types of relationship between content and the building: We have classical advertising with no relation to the building: A clip that was originally produced for TV or Internet is shown on a display. There’s no relation between the content and the building at all. We have customised displays with customised content. There’s a relation between the form of the display and the building and its situation in the city, but there’s no relation between the content and the building. (coke) There are projects whose content have a relation to the building and the situation in town and where also the display corresponds with the building. Uniqua. Then there are differences in respect to how content is produced. On the one hand there’s again advertising on the other there are curated art programs like in the spots installation in Berlin. Some of them provide interfaces for spectators that allow for interactions (blinken light) and others simply show a program. Then there are differences in respect to what kind of technology is used in the installation: Blinken Light, one the first and most important examples in this area, was done with simple halogen lamps. Fluorescent lamps are used in the installations of realities united: BIX at Kunsthaus Graz and Spots Façade at Potsdamer Platz in Berln. Allianz Arena is another project where fluorescent lamps was used. The major part of the installations use LED. Like (example) And finally there are differences in how the display is integrated into the building, especially in respect to transparency: First of all the display forms a separated layer apart from the building. (coke) Light sources – in this case LEDs – are housed in boxes and they obscure entirely those parts of the building that are behind the building. The Lehmann buidling in York was an approach to integrate classical led modules directly into the façade. The next step was to put leds in extrusions like in this example for t-mobile. The big advantage is that you can see through it and get daylight into the building. The Chanel building in Tokyo used a similar approach, but in this case transparency was not the main goal. it was enough to make the façade translucent during the daytime – but it is not possible to see through In the evening when the display is lit, jalousies are rolled down in order to not distract people from work. Finally there are displays that are integrated in the façade structure of the building like in the case of uniqua. The display is translucent and transparent and it was added after the building was finished. You can take a look at mediaarchtiecture.org in order to find more informations about most of the projects mentioned here. We as a research group we are in the process of developing solutions where LEDs are intergrated into the façade structure, in order to let sunlight into the building and let people look out of it. I will explain that in details a bit later. After having presented typical projects out of the area of media architecture I will go on with a brief overiew about the different topics and challenges that arise when a project is planned and built. Therefore I have drawn the following map.. Around the center occupied my the terms media and architecture I put four main topics that seem to be most influental when planning a new project. First of all the building itself becomes mediaarchitecture e.g. by applying a media façade- The decision of converting a building into media architecture necesserily raises the question of what content to show and what kind of technology to use. And finally it requires to ask public administration for permissions and consider important aspects of urban planning . Each of these four are interrelated with each other and need to be involved in the process of design. Lets dig a bit deeper into these four topics. As urban planning plays a special role in this field I’d like to begin with it: Here are some questions that are risen in these area, like cultural heritage, light pollution, traffic and the involvement of neighbours. These are All Questions that are usually not answered by the design team allone but usally in cooperation with city administration and neighbours and experts in the field. The very special feature of this area lays in the fact that the building owner and his team of planners architects and designers usually are invited to make proposals and offer solutions, but whether they are accepted or not is subject of reglementations and negotiations. The best proposal might fail if there is no basis for discussion. Both sides, planners and city administration need to learn a lot in order to provide a working basis for discussion and its certainly not advisable to see each other as opponents in a game with hidden cards. It requires a culture of discourse and we hope that we can contribute to such a culture in the following session. Whereas urban planning seems to define a project by constraints and edge conditions the three others can largely be decided by the building owner and the design team: The form of content still might be regulated by city adminstration but the choice of themes and plots is largely up to designers and raises a cascade of questions like what kind of content needs what kind of resolution and brightness. Or is affordable and technically feasable to show content during daylight or only from dusk till dawn. Probably the most important decision that is often taken without deeper reflection is if the content should correspond with the form of the building and the people or organisations using the building or if it the display is simply a second layer on the building producing its own system of reference without any correspondence to the building. Bearing that in mind a stipulative definition of media architecture could be as follows: Buildings and spatial structures are only considered Media Architecture if there’s an intended and generally recognisable correspondence between the display its content and the structure of the building. The question of what is intended and moreover what is generally recognisable is subject of individual interpretation and needs certainly to be negotiated among experts and other actors. I expect an answer not later than tomorrow in the theory panel. ;-) However, the relation between the display and the building is the actual challenge of mediaarchitecture and each project tries to find its specific correspondence. Whereas urban planning provides the edge conditions, technology should play the role of the enabler providing the design team with the right means to create a specific relation between the media and the architecture component of the project. It provides solutions by giving the right answers to questions like the integration of the display into the façade systems, cabling, maintenance and so forth. This short overview about the field of mediaarchitecture should be enough to make clear that Media architecture covers a huge field of different disciplines and big number of challenges that cannot be solved independently from each others. I personally don’t believe that a single provider is able to cover the whole field and solves all the different problems arising from it. I think it’s a question of finding the right team with the right mix of know-how. The group that I represent here consists out of a 5 entirely different companies and research institutions, with almost no overlapping spheres of competences. (folie) We have AluKönigStahl a leading provider in aluminium and steel extrusions who is able to design special extrusions that go together with widely spread façade systems like Schüco and Jansen. Then there’s Peter Cornwells Company Blip that is covering a lot of know-how related to LED-Installations with a long term experience in setting up and maintaining large outdoor projects like CocaCola Display on Picadilly Circus. The third partner is the Institute for Computer Technology from the Technical University in Vienna a leading expert and developer of solutions for building automation. The Austrian office Archconsult covers the aspect of architecture. Archconsult is involved in a number of flagship buildings like t-mobile headquarter in vienna and the tower for the European Central Bank in Frankfurt. And fnally there`s my company ”realitylab” that is doing the research management for the project. We have a 15 years experience in interaction design and the focus in this project is on the aspect of visualisation and light simulation. In such a team of complementary know how it is important to establish interfaces between each partners respectively between their particular technologies. As there is a long term relation between the partners of our group we have enough time to solve technical problems fundamentally and not only from the perspective of contractor that is carrying out a single project. Moreover the establishment of a long term relationship among experts like in our case establishes a more familiar and creative atmosphere in which also complex problems arising form very special problems can be solved. The core competence of the consortium lays in the ability of integrating seamlessly the display into the facadestructure of the building. The core challlenge of building media facades lays in the connection between the display and the building structure. Up to now there are several approaches to solve this problem: Easiest solution: Take an existing led-mesh and rig it over the existing structure of the building (-> stadion center) A bit more elaborated: put the led sources in a housing and put it on a second layer in front of the existing structure of the building. (raika hollabrunn) Both solutions lead often to considerable problems, mainly in respect to maintenance and brightness, simply because of the fact that the sources are made for stage shows and not for permanent outdoor usage during daylight. Therefore special led-mesh systems have been developed (patch display, ag4 mesh) They can do a far better job as they are specifically designed for outdoor and longterm usage. In the solution that we are currently developing within the consortium, we integrate the led-sources seamlessly into the façade structure. What does that mean: First of all it means that there are particular aluminium extrusions that house particular led sources both especially produced for the purpose of making media facades. The extrusions clip on existing Schüco components, a widely spread façade system. The integration in the façade system offer a lot of advantages: Cabling can be done entirely hidden and protected Maintenance: The components are designed such that it is easy to replace them when they are broken Flexibility: We are currently developing a series of extrusions for different positions on the façade. Early planning of the Media Façade: Architects can use standardised components already in the phase of planning And finally it looks far better if the display and the building are merging into a unity The building integrated display can be managed like any other display via web access. It is easy to program in advance and to feed in live material whenever needed. In order to meet the special requirements of media architecture we are developing a special interface between the display management system and the building automation system. This Interface allows for special effects like dimming the light inside the building or moving the sun blinds in the façade whenever it fits to the content of the display. The interface does also work into the other direction: telling the display system that a certain event in the building has happened: like more than 1000 Persons in the building… It is subject of further research to see in what circumstances this technology can be applied usefully without affecting people working in the building but basically we see a special opportunity of giving the building a special identity that might have a close correspondence to the building owner’s corporate identity. This is in line with our general objective of producing content that fits perfect to the architecture or in other terms to create a seamless experience where the display and the building merge. If this is done the right way you cannot say anymore that it is only the content that is appealing. It should be obvious that Finally the consortium covers expertise in planning and simulating media architecture… Two forms of simulations: Testing different forms of content (for design purposes) Simulation of brightness and appearance of the media architecture during different daytimes (for giving the client the possibility to compare the cost and benefit of different light sources or a different grid of light sources) Therefore one key factor of success seems to be the possibility of involving the media aspect of Mediaarchitecture as soon as possible in the planning of a new project in order to give enough time for finding the right balance between all the different requirements and the other is to have an interdisciplinary design team that covers as much expertice as possible and necessery in order to cover all challenges that arise from the project. In our case we are a number of companies, all coming from different fields with some overlappings but basically with complementary comptences. Firmen werden vorgestellt. Das Thema “Medienfassaden” geistert schon seit geraumer Zeit durch die Architektur und diverse Wettbewerbe. Erst in letzter Zeit gibt es auch reale Projekte, die wie das Uniqa Gebäude in Wien, den hochgesteckten Erwartungen gerecht werden. Möglich wurde dies nicht zuletzt durch die immer größere Leuchtkraft von LEDs die in Gebäude integriert werden können und damit die Grenzen zwischen Gebäude und Display verschwimmen lassen. Das Gebäude wird zum Medium und sendet Informationen und künstlerische Inhalte in den stadtischen Raum, was eine Reihe von Fragen für die Architektur aber auch für die Stadtplanung aufwirft. International betrachtet boomen MEdienfassaden vor allem im asiatischen Raum, wo sie mithin zu einem Zeichen für die boomende Wirtschaft und die wachsende Urbanisierung geworden sind. Doch auch in Österreich tut sich einiges: Eine Gruppe österreichischer Unternehmen hat sich unter dem label mediafacade.net dieses Themas angenommen und richtet nun auch eine Konferenz in London zum Thema “media architecture” aus. Ziel ist es hochwertige Medienarchitektur projekte zu schaffen bei denen der Medieninhalte und Architektur aufeinander abgestimmt sind. There is a number of challenges arising from that fact that media and architecture are more and more growing together.
Meface06 Slidecast Kompr
content / format display technology resolution brightness viewing distance corporate identity advertising narrative / symbolic / spatial building urban planning light pollution cultural heritage investment objectives building automation facade structure maintenance media architecture light sources building users traffic interaction display structure neighbours cabling content management lighting sun protection themes / plots day / night simulation energy project management
mediafacade.net a team approach to develop standardised media facade components. Gernot Tscherteu [email_address]