Tuesday, 23 October 2007

Interactive Architecture

Christmas is scarily fast approaching and already the cheesy “I Wish It Could Be Xmas Everyday…” jingles are already being played on the radio.
I have just stumbled upon one of the best set of Christmas lights. Last Christmas Tokyo’s shopping district of Aoyama made their usual Christmas Light Columns interactive. For the first time the Tokyo public could “call in” to the light columns and change the colour of the neon lights by using just their voice. The guys at Semitransparent Design who created this innovation also got a Cannes Lion for this too.

I found this light project here on Ping Mag, it’s a great blog entry covering all sorts of interesting stuff the Japanese are doing to make their architecture interactive; from Sony’s Live Colour Wall to Microsoft’s Shadow Play.

I wish we had more interactive buildings or installations open to the general public here in the UK. When I say interactive, I mean really physically interactive, not just texting in a short message to be displayed on a on a cheap LED wall (Budweiser I think had something like this in Picadilly Circus?). For example, wouldn’t it be great if buildings could sense volumes or people walking past it via sensors and change its external lighting to match the buzz of people? We interact with buildings everyday, from pushing a button for a lift or using your Oyster Card to enter the Tube why not take this interactivity further and allow people to have fun while doing it?

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