Media Architecture Awards Nominations: Animated Architecture


Media Architecture Awards Nominations: Animated Architecture

The Media Architecture Awards are given to outstanding projects at the intersection of architecture, design and urban planning, media, art and interaction design. The winners will be announced during the awards ceremony on July 2 (15:00-16:15 (CEST). The awards ceremony will be broadcast live. In the coming weeks, the three nominations for each of the five categories will be revealed. .here on ArchDaily.

Animated architecture

This category features projects demonstrating creative media facade designs. The facades of buildings are increasingly animated by integrated light sources. Designers are increasingly focusing on the perception of the building, seeking designs that add layers of meaning and/or bring out new experiences of the building itself, the wider site and its surrounding public space.

“This year’s submissions show very clearly that the use of media is becoming more and more diverse. The projects use screens, integrated lights, sensors and the innovative use of non-architectural materials such as electronic paper or soundscapes. Some projects use three or even more of these different media,” says Ava Fatah gen. Schieck, member of the jury in the Animated Architecture category and associate professor at the Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London.

Another striking trend is that media are increasingly integrated into architecture. “We hardly saw any screens on the buildings anymore.” Moreover, these media installations are becoming more and more interactive. “With sensors, IoT applications, or augmented layers, the public can actively engage with both the architecture and the information being visualized. In this way, media architecture adds behavioral qualities to the public domain.


The digital bricks

Project artist: Science Gallery Melbourne, Arup

Architecture: Bois Bagot

Science Gallery Melbourne’s digital bricks integrate artwork into an existing building and innovative display of cultural artifacts in a new form of architecture. The installation consists of 226 polished glass bricks, each lit by a custom rear-mounted high definition LED display in a custom fabricated enclosure. The polished, translucent glass bricks are integrated into the building’s clay brick ground floor structure. Each glass block is placed in front of a small, high-brightness, high-resolution LED screen. Shown are historical images of the gradual transitions from pre-colonial knowledge to western settlement and occupation of ‘traditional lands’ in Australia. The story pays tribute to the contributions of Aboriginal women to the health care system, including the Royal Women’s Hospital which once occupied this site. Due to the intense level of luminance, the installation is visible day and night. Light sensors external to the installation allow real-time adjustments to screen luminance in response to ambient light levels. By mixing technology with a poetic approach to architecture and historical artefacts, The Digital Brick materializes the proverb “if these walls could talk”. And thus offers a speculative perspective on a future era of digitally augmented architecture.

Ava Fatah Gen. Schieck: “First of all, the integration of media into glass blocks is technically very difficult. The way the sensitive LED screen fits exactly into the glass blocks handcrafted in Venice sets a new standard. But doing it is only one thing. How they planned for the sublime operation of technology is even more difficult. The media experience is very poetic and in addition to this specific site. It offers a window on the past. Even when the media is off, the glass blocks add a special quality to the architecture.

GLARE | San Diego International Airport

Project artist: Nik Hafermaas, Dan Goods, David Delgado, Jeano Erforth

Architecture: San Diego International Airport

During World War I, in the waters near San Diego, an artistic yet effective new camouflage was introduced on Navy ships. This “dazzling camouflage” was a painting of abstract geometric shapes and angles; a phenomenon also visible in nature with zebras and some wild cats. A century later, that camouflage was the inspiration for DAZZLE, a half-mile-long artistic facade of the San Diego Airport Rental Car Center. With more than 2,000 slabs of revolutionary material (like portable reading light technology) scaled to an architectural scale, it brings the facade of the San Diego Airport Car Rental Building to life. The e-paper tiles are articulated in a parallelogram shape and arranged at algorithmic distances from each other, to create an overall dynamic visual effect, even when the pixels are stationary. The graphic patterns are animated by a library of short loops evoking water ripples, moving traffic, dancing snowflakes with moving geometries. Many of these animations are generated from particle animations, others are derived from actual footage like Eadweard Muybridge’s Galloping Horse from 1878, which was the first motion picture ever produced.

Ava Fatah Gen. Schieck: “By its size alone, this project is… dazzling! But also, the use of electronic paper as an architectural material is revolutionary. The result is a work of art with a strong visual impact that at the same time remains sensitive. The glare effect is created solely by movement and not by coloring or other exaggerated effects. People recognize it and engage with it on an intuitive level that transcends the spectacular.

Window on the seas

Project artist: Xenorama – Marcel Bückner | Tim Heinze | Richard Oeckel | Lorenz Potthast | Moritz Richartz

Architecture: German Maritime Museum, architect Dietrich Bangert

For the German Maritime Museum in the port city of Bremen, lighting was installed on the entire facade of the building. The 75 meter wide and 6.3 meter high multimedia façade is made up of three elements: 98 individually controllable LEDs, projectors and loudspeakers. The LED bars are installed on the building above and below the window facade. By day it is barely visible, by night it unfolds in all its glory, generating both static projection and pulsating, moving lights in an infinite number of colors. These translate the rhythm of the tides into a choreography of light. But the colorful visualization also provides a stage for all sorts of maritime themes, such as sea waves and surface, people, climate and weather phenomena such as the boreal or even a thunderstorm. In this way, a static museum is transformed into a ship-sized landmark made of light that literally frames an immersive cutout of all ocean life. The project provides a stage for content-driven performances that connect the museum’s indoor exhibition space to its surrounding public space – even after hours.

Ava Fatah Gen. Schieck: “In this project, many different types of media are integrated; colored lights, projections and a soundscape, all interactive through the use of smart sensors. The use of existing architecture is also very refined. The frame around the glass facade gives the whole building a diorama feel. This dramatic effect is amplified by coloring the frame. It is extremely difficult to sum up all these differences.

The MAB Awards are part of the Media Architecture Biennale 20 – MAB20. This edition will be online only with debates, colloquia, workshops, exhibitions and more. With the Futures Implied theme, MAB20 will focus on media architecture that goes beyond the merely spectacular; as well as beyond the design of individualized services comforting human customers.

Therefore, the MAB20 program will take place online:

  • Workshops | June 24 to 29 | through Zoom

  • Online conference | June 30 – July 2 | via the virtual conference platform

To register for MAB20, click here.
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