During my stay in Los Angeles in 2000, the impressive and sturdy billboard constructions caught my interest. I also liked the way how they interact with the built environment, how they seem to wrap themselves around small houses or reach out into the street scape. I wondered whether it would be possible to use these structures for holding small parasitic houses and made a series of sketches. The houses have the size of a very large trailer home, a balcony, billboard space for paying the bills, and offer an excellent view of Los Angeles traffic, the main attraction of the city.
An early media architecture example conceptualized and implemented as part of the ars electronica futurelab. For the new building of an Austrian education institution we conceived a display concept based on the idea of “functional transparency”, the building communicating its processes to its users, visitors and the city.
The project consists of three elements. Most visible from the city, the light columns with individually addressable RGB light elements, communicates global environmental parameters such as time of the day. A second display element, the text floor, was associated with the domain of the users, who could exchange messages (which would, for example, only be able to pass through a door if it was open). Finally, small displays in the vertical columns would show the status of the system, such as the times individual doors have opened on that day.
The user input happens over four input terminals where users could input speech, text or biometric measures such as their pulse, which would cause the light columns to blink in sync.