EnterActive by ElectroLand
Electroland turns an apartment-building facade into a billboard for pedestrian movement.
This project consists of a luminous field of LED lights embedded into the entry walkway that respond to the presence of visitors a massive display of lights on the building face that mirror the patterns of the entry and video displays in the lobby and entry areas.
To the designers at the Los Angeles–based firm Electroland, modern life is a video game.
“There’s a vast network of electronic information surrounding us, and we’re navigating and participating in it all the time.”
For that project, they mounted lights in 81 windows of the architecture school’s new home, a converted train depot, and anyone could illuminate them by calling a particular number on their mobiles and using their keypads to control the sequence of red, green, and blue.
The installation comprises two main elements. The first is an array of electronic tiles that sits just outside the entrance to the Met Lofts lobby, and serves as the interface with pedestrians. Electroland set a riser system into the surrounding concrete, then placed a grid of 176 16-inch-square tiles within it. Each tile is a sandwich of fritted glass and plastic that holds 96 red LEDs and has four compression sensors and a microcomputer on its underside. When someone steps on a tile, the sensors and microcomputer send data to a master computer located in the lobby. That computer in turn signals the tile to illuminate.
Besides feeding back to the tile array, the master computer links to EnterActive’s second major component: a grid of illuminated squares mounted on the building’s west elevation. While the facade display is more truncated than the sidewalk array, Electroland’s proprietary software translates the gameboard’s human movements and computerized patterns into supergraphics flashing on the side of the apartment building. Seeley says that players detect the correlation between themselves and the building face, and understand their influence on the urban landscape.