The Media Façade as Par­a­digm Change of the Pub­lic Space


Session Title:

  • The Media Space: Evolving Media Architecture and Its Legend

Presentation Title:

  • The Media Façade as Par­a­digm Change of the Pub­lic Space




  • Panel: The Media Space: Evolving Media Architecture and Its Legend

    The ide­ol­ogy of moder­nity has de­voted a high im­por­tance to the pub­lic space. The de­mo­c­ra­tic con­di­tions were in­tended to man­i­fest them­selves there and sup­port the free com­mu­ni­ca­tion be­tween peo­ple. The ide­ol­ogy was deal­ing with flow­ing spaces that cre­ated no bar­ri­ers; it was deal­ing with the con­struc­tion of spaces that were not re­pelling or in­tim­i­dat­ing by rep­re­sen­ta­tive con­struc­tions. This evolved to the idea of trans­parency, the min­imi­sa­tion of all con­struc­tions, the con­cen­tra­tion on the es­sen­tials. What has be­come of it? The idea of trans­parency has led to the rapid de­vel­op­ment  of the glass tech­nol­ogy in re­cent years. Re­sult: All-glass façades, which in­crease the qual­ity of the inner space by their trans­parency, how­ever only con­tribute to a minor de­gree to the outer in­sight into the re­la­tions of the so­cial sys­tem within the inner part of the build­ings, be­cause most views are blocked by re­flec­tions. And an­other ques­tion is: What can we see in­side? Does that in­side view help us to un­der­stand the so­cial sys­tem be­hind the façade? The min­imi­sa­tion of the con­struc­tion was adapted with en­thu­si­asm by the con­struc­tion in­dus­try. With re­spect to this pa­ra­me­ter, every­thing was al­lowed to be op­ti­mized. Re­sult: There are hardly any re­gional dif­fer­ences in ar­chi­tec­ture; the ar­chi­tec­ture be­came glob­al­ized. Often, the anonymity of the re­main­ing pub­lic spaces ob­structs processes that pro­mote com­mu­ni­ca­tion. Many ar­chi­tects have cre­ated im­por­tant build­ing art by the con­cen­tra­tion on the es­sen­tial. How­ever, also merely profit-dri­ven com­pa­nies re­late to the con­cept and jus­tify the sim­plic­ity of their build­ings in pub­lic by the con­cen­tra­tion on the es­sen­tial. Re­sult: Many build­ings are so char­ac­ter­less that the cities suf­fer from a large in­hos­pi­tal­ity – they just do not offer any sen­sory stim­uli for the eyes to focus on. The idea of the pub­lic space is there­fore fac­ing hard times. How­ever, it is very ob­vi­ous that peo­ple have a large need for com­mu­nity and ex­change. Oth­er­wise the un­be­liev­able suc­cess of the “so­cial media” can hardly be ex­plained. Now many in­di­vid­u­als in our so­ci­ety are to­tally ir­ri­tated due to the ex­is­tence of real trans­par­ent re­la­tions. It is hardly pos­si­ble to hide some­thing. Es­pe­cially the old rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the mod­ern ide­ol­ogy re­gard it as a vi­o­la­tion of their pri­vate af­fairs. But what is pri­vate and what is pub­lic? A dif­fi­cult dis­cus­sion that is still on­go­ing. But the new spaces have clearly been pro­voked by the media. These spaces are much closer to the orig­i­nal idea of moder­nity than the con­tem­po­rary ar­chi­tec­ture it­self. How­ever, these spaces pre­vent us from real en­coun­ters be­cause they are an­chored only vir­tu­ally. In the mo­ment where these vir­tual spaces re­ceive in­ter­faces in phys­i­cal spaces, the urban space be­comes charged with so­cial com­pe­tence – I call  it the “Me­di­a­te­c­ture”. The me­dia-tec­tonic  in­stru­ment in the pub­lic space is the media façade. World­wide there are many ex­am­ples of media façades.  How­ever, in the sense of the pub­lic space as a room with so­cial in­ter­ac­tion, only a few have been cre­ated. There are many ex­am­ples of artis­tic façades, which rep­re­sent a sym­bol for the me­dial act­ing so­ci­ety through the dig­i­tal ap­pli­ca­tion of me­dial tech­nol­ogy. In most  cases  the me­dial il­lus­tra­tion is more or less ab­stract and sup­ported by cu­ra­tors of me­dial art or is funded by com­pa­nies as a sym­bol of their in­no­v­a­tive spirit. How­ever, there are only a few ex­am­ples of media façades which re­ally are based on so­cial processes.  Why is that?? An im­por­tant rea­son is the par­a­digm change that is in­duced by the media façade for those re­spon­si­ble for mu­nic­i­pal plan­ning de­vel­op­ments.  Now, vir­tual and urban spaces be­come mixed and that ques­tions the ide­ol­ogy of the con­cen­tra­tion on the es­sen­tial  in ar­chi­tec­ture. Dig­i­tal art is just ac­cept­able, it can be con­sid­ered as con­struc­tional art. But a media façade, which can cre­ate the whole range of dig­i­tal ap­pli­ca­tions with its full video per­for­mance, is very con­cern­ing for the build­ing de­part­ment heads. And this is un­der­stand­able, be­cause the build­ing de­part­ment head has only few op­tions to con­trol the con­cept of me­dial con­tent pro­duc­tion. There is an ur­gent need to con­struct me­dial de­sign statutes, which reg­u­late care­fully and in in­di­vid­ual ac­cor­dance with the neigh­bour­hood the com­mu­ni­ca­tional aims of such media façades. This is par­tic­u­larly im­por­tant be­cause media façades  are rel­a­tively ex­pen­sive. Such pro­jects are there­fore ex­pected to suc­ceed only if they fol­low a busi­ness model that al­lows the op­er­a­tor rev­enue through in­te­grated brand com­mu­ni­ca­tion.
    The con­cen­tra­tion of many cre­ative per­sons on media fa­cades with purely artis­tic na­ture will not be sus­tain­ably pro­duc­tive. The chal­lenge is rather to in­clude the enor­mous dy­nam­ics of so­cial media in the urban spaces.  Only eco­nom­i­cally ori­ented busi­ness mod­els can achieve this. And only by such busi­ness mod­els free spaces will de­velop, that can be use­fully filled with artis­tic ap­pli­ca­tions. Now, the art can rely on clear con­cepts and take over com­mu­nica­tive tasks in the pub­lic space. And this is the only way to pre­vent the art from being pushed in urban spaces with­out any con­tex­tual re­la­tion, which would even in­crease peo­ple’s dis­ori­en­ta­tion.

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