Aarhus by Light

I have chosen to write a bit about a projekt called “Aarhus by Light – An Interactive Media Facade for Concert Hall Aarhus”. As some might recall this “event” took place in February and March in 2008 in the heart of Århus. During this period the facade of the Concert Hall changed its look dramatically as the entire surface was covered with 180 m2 LED displays. The displays looked not like a normal gigant TV, in stead they: ”form[ed] an organic shape that [bacame] part of the architecture”, as it says on CAVI’s website.

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CAVI, which is short for The Centre for Advanced Visualization and Interaction, is a part of the University of Århus. They deal with many projects which has to do with architecture, design, scientific visualization, art and culture. One of these exciting projects were ”Aarhus by Light”. This specific project were just one out of many interesting projects concerning media facades. CAVI tries to explore and develope new ways of looking at and using the huge facedes, which are to be found in big cities all over the world.

The most interesting part concerning ”Aarhus by Light” was the fact that the ”audience” – that would be everyone who passed the building – could interact with the big screen on the facade. By moving in three illuminated zones in front of the concert hall, your movements were tracked and translated into silhouettes on the facade. The zone you moved on had a colour which accorded to the colour of the silhouette you projected. Furthermore you could interact with the alien like people which populated the screen.

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”Aarhus by Light” is an example of how modern architecture ”is more than bricks and mortar”. ”Musikhuset” went from being a typical concert hall to being a building which not just contained culture in form of shows and performances but started to produce culture at the facade in a new eyeopening way. The building began to communicate to the city and the people living in Århus, and people answered when they started to interact with the screen.

The field of media facades is wide and it is very much something you could develope in many ways. Using facades, as a media you can communicate with, opens for a wide range of profit as well as non-profit projects. You can use a media facade for branding, entertainment or digital art. The people at CAVI are already designing and developing a new media facade for ”Ridehuset” located very near ”Århus Musikhus”, and I am sure, that this field is something which will be used and become more widespread in the future.

More information about ”Aarhus by Light” can be found at:
www.aarhusbylight.dk
www.cavi.dk

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