Profile: Jason Bruges

Jason Bruges brings a human element to architecture and interiors, using cutting edge technology to bring interactive life to inanimate spaces. Just don’t describe him as a lighting designer.

Installation in Amnesty InternationalHuman Rights Action Centre

Human movement is also the stimulant for Bruges’s Memory Wall in the Madrid hotel, which he is creating in the lift lobby of the floor designed by architect Kathryn Findlay. Bruges describes the piece as ‘electronic blotting paper’, which creates an abstracted silhouette that follows people across the lobby using cameras in the ceiling that activate a wall panel of more than 2000 embedded lights. The colour of the display also changes in response to the hue of clothing. Leading off the lobby are two corridors of ‘electronic wallpaper’ that give a rippling effect in response to movement via fibre optics embedded in polyurethane.

Sometimes it’s data rather than people that are the stimulus. On the four, 12m-high roundabout Litmus totems at Havering, motorway LED display technology transmits locally derived data such as the tidal flow at Tilbury. And a light wall installation in Channel 5’s boardroom responds in colour and activity to programmes being broadcasted. Two more high-profile projects will carry on these themes – a façade at Sheffield’s Millennium Galleries that will respond to traffic and people flow and an installation at Rafael Vinoly’s Leicester Performing Arts Centre, which will respond in some way to activity within the centre.

Ever enthusiastic, Bruges is convinced that his work is breaking new ground in its application of interactivity in the built environment. And with his growing portfolio of intriguing projects, he certainly has something worth talking about, regardless of how people may pigeon-hole him.

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