Blurring the boundary between lighting and digital display

The student project  below really echoes my passion for approaching lighting as digital display. It is an interesting way to turn a static ‘site’ into a responsive ‘place’. Our public sites and buildings need the ability to respond to the behaviour of the environment surrounding them at any given instant.

When designing  landscape lighting, building facade lighting, decorative lighting, think of the lights as ‘pixels’ this has the potential to create expressive zones around a building or public space.

http://labcast.media.mit.edu/?p=47

When watching the video below I can’t  help but thinking about the Parco Department store in Shibuya Tokyo, it has had a similar lighting installation on its facade since the late 1980’s. It will play set patterns depending upon the date and time of day, I encountered it working on a project with Parco Space Systems in 2005.

Now in 2011 we are seeing much more in the way of these kinds of possibilities, on bridges, facades and pathways. I think we should start to think of all the lights in the city as pixels. It is my dream one day to look at the city scape and it could tell me something, like what is the best way to get home, or where the party is. We could look in the direction of a bridge and the lights could tell us about the volume of traffic on it. I am already starting to propose these projects to potential clients and stake holders, but in Western Canada, its slow going here where clients are just now starting to understand the significance of controllable lighting on a more basic level.

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