Archive for May, 2007|Monthly archive page

Digital Mile, Zaragoza

The Digital Mile project in Zaragoza, lead by Dennis Frenchman and William J. Mitchell at the MIT, is a specific research project aiming at integrating digital media on the pedestrian path, Paseo del Agua, in Zaragoza. The project is carried out as part of a joint program between City Design and Development and the Media Lab at MIT to create a vision for the Digital Mile. 

 Digital Mile 1
Credit: Dennis Frenchman

How it performs:
The project incorporates digital media in all aspects of the urban environment, with the intension to design places that respond to the present users to provide the basis for a large variety of activities, to facilitate stories and information as a service for the users. As a kind of “open-source” city it enables the users to influence the environment to become more dynamic and participatory, however maybe even more importantly to enhance the experience of social spaces. In this regard the digital technologies are supporting the physical space by extending the use of the spaces and to enable personal and public communications, exchange of goods, information, emotions and ideas as meaningful places of interaction. These activities are initiated by incorporating free wireless public networks and digital systems that change e.g. as a water wall, street surface, building façade, streetlight intensity and colour, digitally controlled urban interior pieces etc.
The project shows the really prospective possibilities for architecture to go into a feedback process with the citizens, and it will be really interesting to see the realization of the projects on the mile.Dennis Frenchman and Francisca Rojas did a really good article about the project to be downloaded from the link below. 


Digital Mile 2
Credit: Andres Sevtsuk

More information at:
Article about the project
Smart Cities



The Blinklights project was originally a light installation built for the 20th birthday of Chaos Computer Club (CCC) in Berlin. The light installation was installed in the “Haus der lehrers” (House of the Teacher) office building at the Alexanderplatz in Berlin to become at that time one for the biggest interactive computer displays. The next project was the Arcade installed in the Bibliotheque nationale de France in Paris, where the 20 x 26 windows of the building was installed with screens and halogen lighting to make it a large interactive screen.

Credit: Harald & Erhard Fotografie

How it performs:
During the event where the interactive installation occupied the facades, the building was turned into an Arcade game where it was possible to play the classic computer games on one of the towers of the National Library. At the same time the interactive software was extended to include public participation where people could create own animations and pictures to upload to the façade as well as doing experiments in sending individual messages to the urban screen from mobile phones. In this way the building became an urban media for both events and social groupings around the city.
The software has been further developed and extended into other applications.

Credit: Harald & Erhard Fotografie

More information at:

Kunsthaus Graz, Spacelab Cook-Fournier

The new Kunsthaus in Graz has been announced as a ´friendly alien´, where the building is occupying a dense space in the historical district of Graz. The media façade developed by Realities United is a special system to illuminate the outer skin as an electronically changing façade in opposition to the interior ´black box´ museum.

Credit: Nicolas Lackner

How it performs:
The media façade of the building is acting both as advertisement for the museum in relation to exhibitions and events as well as it becomes a media for experimenting artists and visitors. The group Realities United developed the Bix system for this building as a matrix of fluorescent lamps that can be dimmered and controlled on the outer façade as a communicative display and low-resolution screen. Using the Bix system the façade becomes an experimental tool for artists however also at the same time one of the most important brands and identity related elements of Kunsthaus Graz.
Realities United has extended their experiments with their software Bix into other projects at e.g. Potsdamer Platz in Berlin.

More information at:

Open Burble, Usman Haque

Open Burble is one of the more recent installations from Usman Haque where he exemplifies how performative installations can become collective environments. The installation consisted of a large structure of balloons designed and assembled by the participants and commissioned by the Singapore Biennale 2006 with the premiere on Sept 1, 2006.



Credit: Eng Kiat Tan / Haque Design + Research

How it performs:
With the Open Burble a large number of connected balloons are launched to the sky with each balloon equipped with LED light and connected to an electronic system. The design of the colour patterns and interactions are carried out together with the citizens assembling the modular system to one collective whole. When the total construction is launched it can be positioned and the light adjusted according to the participants movements on ground where the individual actions are initiating echoes of light through the overall Burble. The main performative experiences occurs when each individual action becomes an integral part of the overall spectacular experience.

Credit: Eng Kiat Tan / Haque Design + Research

Credit: Haque Design + Research

Credit: Eng Kiat Tan / Haque Design + Research

More information at: