I want to connect back to some of the technology that we talked about a week or so ago. We looked at a project where motion was detected by a small camera on a large surface of small individualized pieces and the image was reflected on each surface. The image continued to move as the user moved in front of the camera. The small pieces have multiple sides and give off different reflections depending which side is faced against the light.
I wanted to see if I could find any other project that used this type of technology but at a larger scale. After some research, I came across the Flare System implemented by Staab Architects and WHITEvoid interactive art & design on a building located in Berlin. Flare is a kinetic ambient reflection membrane which covers more than half of the facade. It is “a modular system to create a dynamic hull for facades or any building or wall surface. Acting like a living skin, it allows a building to express, communicate and interact with its environment.”
The system consists of single metal units with multiple sides that are controlled by a computer. Sensors are placed on the interior and exterior of the building and capture the movement on the facade. The small units reflect light differently just as the project we viewed in class. When the units face downward: dark, upward: bright and every shade in between. Due to the system, an infinite array of designs and movements can be portrayed across the exterior.
This system is just an example of how we can take such a small beginning of an idea and take it even bigger! I wonder what else is being done or what else we could do or what the limits of this system would be? It also makes me wonder if this system could be too much of an attention getter? I think that this system could either be amazing or turn into a big distraction depending on where it is placed just like the LED lights that may be used as road signs and signifying movement of pedestrians. To me, the LED lights are just too much and a big ACCIDENT PRONE with all the possible distractions it could cause. So it make me wonder if this kinetic facade would do just that as well? Really, no matter how interesting and cool a design or new innovative system can be, we always need to remember that we are designing for the health and safety of our users, first.