Fact seeks interactive groups for new-build developments

The director of the Foundation for Art and Creative Technology Mike Stubbs is set to announce his search for the commission of interactive interventions which will be integrated into new-build developments at sites adjacent to the organisation’s premises in Liverpool.

Fact is a cinema and art gallery which also develops artistic and social interaction through community-based work.

First-stage feasibility plans have already been granted and architect Union North and construction consultant Rider Levett Bucknall appointed. Now Stubbs is looking to appoint interactive specialists for permanent and semi-permanent interventions into the sustainable education-focused development.

Stubbs will join digital creatives and architects meeting next week at an event which hopes to encourage knowledge-sharing on interaction design and celebrate a shift in attitude to the acceptance of interactives in building design.

The inaugural Interactive Architecture 2010 forum, to be held at the Metropolitan Works Creative Industries Centre in London on 13 October, will try to reconcile both disciplines through the shared experience of key practitioners from both sides.

Design Week previewed the event in June, but it was postponed until this month and the line-up has since changed. Curator, chairman of the event and managing director of interactive design group Soda, Fiddian Warman says, ’There are a lot of exciting technological changes happening in the architectural space and in the interactive design world – skirmishes between the two, but they haven’t been brought together before.’

The conference will look to understand evolution in the discipline. Jason Bruges, an architect by training, will speak at the event. He says that when he set up Jason Bruges Studio – an interactive design practice – in 2001, architects were less willing to accept interactive interventions in architecture.

’We have a big gamut of technology which can enable us to change form, aesthetics or entertain,’ he says. ’Clients are starting to understand that – I don’t have to go round educating people.’

Nine years after he started the consultancy, Bruges, who works with architects including Foster & Partners, Terry Farrell and Partners and Grimshaw Architects, says his work is ’starting to become more mainstream’.

This acceptance has led to groups working in niche disciplines, like United Visual Artists, which continues to develop new techniques in projection, laser and lighting – shown notably in its London Olympics basketball stadium commission, which won’t be unveiled until 2012.

The facade of the arena is to be used as a canvas which develops over the course of the games in response to changing levels of activity, using light sources to show the depth and geometry of the structure. In some areas, the inside structure of the arena will be revealed through the outside shell.

At the conference, UVA architect Alexandros Tsolakis will talk about a pair of the consultancy’s latest installations, which were unveiled in Toronto, Canada, last night. Canopy, a 90mx3m public art lighting commission – see feature on page 15 – has been integrated into the architecture of Maple Leaf Square, a mixed commercial and residential space.

This will sit next to ’Connection’, an interactive bridge linking Maple Leaf Square to the adjacent hockey stadium, Air Canada Centre.

Tsolakis says the ’responsive installation’ captures the flow of people between buildings and expresses it through LED frames built into the bridge. The number of people, their direction and speed all affect the undulation of the pattern.

Warman, who is keen to showcase the contribution of experimental groups in the industry, will also show work by his own group, Soda, which collaborated with Armand Terruli of Vector Foil Tech to make interventions into the Media TIC Building in Barcelona.

The structure (pictured above left) is clad in ’inflatable cushions’ which, he says, react to light, controlling ’solar gain’ in the building by a process which fill the cushions with mist.

Less conventional design interventions and research and development will be championed by Warman. Alexandra Deschamps-Sonsorio, who runs the practice Tinker London, is to talk about what Warman calls ’the Internet of things’ – the intelligence of objects in our physical environment and how they can modify our interaction ’beyond screens’.

Alex Haw, founder of Atmos, a consultancy ’which explores the boundaries of architecture’s fetish for control’, will speak about The Cloud, an Olympics project indirectly related to the built environment.

An evolving discipline
Scott Burnham, curator of exhibition Urban Play, will talk about urban interventions and curating urban spaces as self-initiated or guerrilla projects
Michael Spencer, managing director of consultancy Sound Strategies, will talk about how sound is overlooked in shaping environment and the benefits it can bring Ghislaine Boddington, creative director of Body Data Space, will look at the interplay between the physical and the virtual

Latest articles