Media Facades Festival Berlin 2008

http://www.mediaarchitecture.org/mediafacades2008/

Urban public space – understood as open, civic space – is a key element in the development of European urbanism. It is based on a well-balanced mix of functions and the idea of the inhabitant as active citizen.

We currently face a transitional period of restructuring social networks in a globalised world. This is resulting in various experiments with new types of relations and exchange processes, supported by the developing interactive new media tools. In order to maintain the social sustainability of our cities, it is important to connect this new virtual space for development of public sphere and social exchange with the acquisition and reactivation of urban public space.

A spreading feeling of fear in public space connected with a notion of being disconnected from ones surroundings reminds us that virtual spaces cannot alone function as alternative spaces for exchange and production of identity in a modern society.

The content of media facades and digital moving Images in public spaces should not only be determined by market forces, yet should follow urban necessities. Therefore we aim to transform the growing number of digital architectural surfaces in our cities into experimental visual zone on the threshold of virtual and urban public space, contributing to a liveable urban society.

The changing architectural relationship between image, structure and representation has been long predicted by Architecture and Media critiques such as Paul Virilio und Robert Venturi.

Media façades can combine aspects of lighting and graphics in formats determined by the architecture, these might differ fundamentally in format, resolution and dimension from the rectilinear media image. Moving imagery has increasingly become interactive and emergent and often have to work without sound, so they question narrative storytelling known from other traditional media. Content can be synthesised from or driven by information from the environment, whether it be from within the building or from the outside world, or through channels such as the internet. In connection with locative and mobile media, new forms of content production can develop that create through participatory approaches new relations between the imagery and the surrounding urban space and its citizen.

There’s a growing need for the research of different creative contents that are able to make these new media for urban space vivid and attractive. Creatives in the different areas of media and culture are confronted with entirely new challenges in respect to resolution and distribution of pixels; there are also new forms of interaction arising from the specific dimensions of size and distance that differ basically from classical media formats. And how can we experiment with the element of audio, without constantly showering the open public space with sound?

It is very likely that new job descriptions and creative practices will emerge out of the new field of media architecture. It is still undetermined how roles for the production of content and displays will be distributed, and what standards can be applied for assessing projects. Building with media facades are a challenge for architects, creatives and planners, as they require a profound knowledge of the technical aspects, offer new design objectives and lead to new possibilities for communication in urban space.

The fact that the surface of a building and hence its character is subject of permanent change enables new relations with the local environment and the involvement of citizens in content manipulation.

The MEDIA FACADES FESTIVAL BERLIN is an important contribution for the emergence of a discourse among actors in the field and the development of trend-setting projects in order to avoid undesirable visual overload and to achieve a better acceptance.

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