October 19th 2011

Informed city light

Urban Light is about to change from a technology to brighten the night into a medium of communication and interaction. Recent developments can be compared with the 19-century introduction of light in public spaces. As it was accompanied by the advent of advertisement, a new kind of media content to be exposed, it led to a socio-technological revolution accompanied by the development of the icon of the modern city. Today we witness screens that are increasingly custom tailored, to address specific economical needs and creative concepts. Those screens in all measures are about to pervade urban public space. The contemporary change could lead to a medium that has the potential to be the first strictly urban mass medium. As a result radical changes for the so-called specific local appearance of a city as well as for the culture of public urban space will be two of many consequences. In this scenario of a medium that developed out of the evolution of urban light Architecture surfaces become the threshold for informed city light. What is the new breed of media content to feed the new infrastructures and interfaces? What are the constraints and trajectories of change from an architecture point of view? We need to discuss what architects could do at the dawn of a socio-technological revolution to unfold!

Oliver Schürer, Senior Scientist Dipl.-Ing. Dr.techn. at the Department of Architecture Theory Vienna University of Technology

Author, Curator, Editor, Senior Scientist at the Department of Architecture Theory Vienna University of Technology. He did numerous international publications on technology and media in Architecture. Accompanied by research projects including commercial development and experimental installations of large-scale media surfaces and integration of alternative social media. In 2007 he was co-curator of the Media Architecture Conference, at ‚Central Saint Martins Innovation’, University of the Arts London. He was curator of the Media Facades Conference Berlin 2008 at Deutsches Architekturzentrum DAZ and co-curator of Media Facades Festival Berlin 2008.
In 2010 he was co-curator of the Media Architecture Biennale and curator of the Media Architecture Conference in Vienna. His long-term research focus is ‘The Automation of Architecture’.