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December 29, 2006



Touching the Dexia Tower

LAb[au] is happy to announce you its new urban interactive installation Touch on the Dexia Tower and Place Rogier in Brussels, Belgium. The project takes as a starting point Brussels 145 m high Dexia Tower, from which 4200 windows can be individually colour-enlightened by RGB-led bars, turning the faade into an immense display.

Instead of considering this infrastructure as a flat screen (surface) displaying pre-rendered video loops, the project is working on the architectural characteristics of the tower and its urban context. The characteristics of the building; orientation, volume, scale... are used as parameters to set up a spatial, temporal and luminous concept, which moreover allows people to directly interact with the tower.

On Place Rogier, at the bottom of the tower, a station is mounted where people can interact either individually or collectively with the tower through a multi touch screen. Both static (touch) as dynamic input (gesture) is recognized to generate an elementary graphical language of points, lines and surfaces combined with physical behaviours (growth, weight, ...) taking a monochromatic colour palette (background) combined with black and white (graphical elements).

Once a composition is created, it can be sent as an electronic postcard with a snapshot from the tower, taken from a distant location. It is also uploaded on the specific project website ( www.dexia-tower.com ) where people can retrieve their postcard, as electronic and printable format, with Christmas and New Years wishes from Brussels.

The design of the interactive station, as the project in general, is based on the idea of folding and unfolding space. This process allows the spatial design to be combined with time-based parameters, inherent to the dynamic and sequential concept of the interactive enlightening of the tower itself.

Embodied by three parts, the station is placed on Brussels North-South axis in front of the Dexia Tower. The first fold allows people to interact on a multi-touch-screen, the second fold directly displays the user interaction - finger drawing - on a projection screen. In this manner the station not only establishes a direct relation to the visual and luminous display of the tower but also shows the passers by the ongoing process of user interaction.

The interaction is constituted by both static and dynamic input, taking in account certain parameters such as width ( finger, hand, arm, .. ) , direction ( horizontal, vertical, diagonal ), duration ( introducing growth ), speed ( introducing velocity and weight ), to establish a dynamic, abstract play of graphical elements deduced from the architecture. Each of the inputs defines the colour of the background the architecture will change towards ( coordinate to colour map ), while its direction ( positive or negative ) defines the colour of the graphical element evoked ( white or black ).

The touch screen allows multiple inputs and thus allows on the one hand, people to interact with more than 1 finger, and on the other hand, to interact together, extending individual interaction to a collective experience. This real-time and collective interaction on an urban scale, transforms the Dexia Tower into a new Brussels landmark which presents art to the city.

Posted by jo at December 29, 2006 10:28 AM