Beyond the tired repetition of look-alike work, collaborations between areas like architecture and visual design really can light up our cities in new ways.
I spent some time today touring the Fab Lab Barcelona, a multi-disciplinary fabrication studio peopled by experts in architecture and design. What’s special about this space to me is not only the well-stocked array of tools, but a commitment to applying technology to new contexts. The campaign just wrapped up yesterday on a crowd-funded sensor board that will provide intelligent environmental data from around the world, called Smart Cities. And of course, this kind of work is the promise of a growing network of fab labs worldwide. People are not only making things: they’re making things with each other in new ways.
In the audiovisual piece “Scenarios,” Fab Lab Barcelona 3D printed a surface for a liquid interface of flowing data. It’s not so much significant that it uses 3D laser cutting and projection mapping – those two buzzwords – as the way that the two in combination create a whole that would otherwise not have existed.
Here, the work is largely abstract, but it’s not hard to see this as a cue to reactive architecture to come, in which surfaces become changing and pliable and can even pulse with information.
The elements here:
1. iPhone, the source of the flowing data.
2. A terrain for mapping projection horizontally, produced with laser-cut foam.
3. A traditional projection surface in the rear, with wood over foam.
Scenarios is an audiovisual installation created by Onionlab for Yota Devices. Bordering on abstraction, Scenarios shows some of the utilities of Yota Devices’ new phone, characterised by its dual screen. The rear screen, made of liquid crystal, can store important information such as a boarding card or map almost permanently.
This piece was presented at Barcelona’s 2013 Mobile World Congress at the exhibition stand designed by External Reference.
Client: Yota Devices
Curator: External Reference Architects
Art direction and production: Onionlab
Creative director: Aleix Fernandez
3D Artists: Carles Munne, Pepe Vegas.
Producer: Joel Mestre
Motion Graphics and compositing:Joan Achon, Roger Vicente, Dani Planas, Aleix Fernandez
Processing programing: Aleix Fernandez
Technical director: Jordi Pont
Music and Sound design: Leiko
AV Engineering: Lloc Audiovisuals
Projection surface produced produced at FABLAB Barcelona