Architectural facades have become a new medium for animated advertising and illuminated communication. Places like New Yorks’s Times Square, Hong Kong and The Strip in Las Vegas have been the innovators for this form of architecture where the building façade is transformed into one massive advertising medium for communicating messages.
We as a studio consciously investigated the further potential of media facades and their capacity to form an integral part of an overall architectural strategy and language. The challenge was to integrate the language of media generated imagery into the concepts of the building. We paid equal attention to design and structural aspects of the building; the variations of natural light, the slow path of the sun moving across the building surface and the resultant creation of shadows. One of the key challenges we wanted to address was to create fenestration in the media façade to allow people to look out of the building.
The resultant was ‘Cellular Fission’, a structural system inspired from Kunihiko Kasahara’s ‘Bird Tetrahedron origami model’. The slit and insertion method of the assembly enables a limitless kind of reproduction – reproduction, similar to cellular fission. Hence the structural system derived makes possible for dynamic and free growth; making it adaptable to varying site conditions and requirements.
The system is highly flexible as modules can combined two-dimensionally to create panels and expand three-dimensionally to cover more organic surfaces. The tetrahedral form and linking system allows for a self supporting structure. Gaps in-between the linked modules allow for passage of natural light and ventilation, giving the system a very porous effect. Hence the interior surface of the building receives shaded natural light while the exterior can be used for animation.
All modules are lit with an LED diode, which are controlled through a micro-controller to create patterns. The prototype was experimenting with directional graphics and we programmed the screen to display a right pointing arrow. We are looking at public signage systems which can form an integral part of the urban fabric and slowly replace static sign boards. Based on the requirement the system can be modified to use RGB LEDS which allow a wider range of colours.
These panels can also have a wide range of interior applications with respect to interactive lighting, space dividing systems and ceiling panels.
The prototype was displayed during the India Design Week , 2013.
The India Design Forum (IDF) is one of the country’s leading design platform showcasing work of national and international architects, interior designers and product designers over a two day conference. The India Design Week consisted of a series of exhibitions and collateral events organised around the city as a build up to the main conference.
OTLO, an exhibition curated by Ashiesh Shah and Tejas Mangeshkar was a pop up project showcasing Indian design with a focus on technology and sustainability on view from 11th to 16th of March, 2013.
Sponsors: Autoramaa – Sponsor for LEDs and Electrical cost