Light Matters: Smart Flying Pixels Create a Floating Glow

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Imagine luminaires that could fly and visualise new buildings or individually guide you through space. What would happen if you could even interact with these flying pixels? These concepts could be realised in the near future as the first prototypes and experiments are being introduced. Software-driven LED pixels combined with drone swarm technology provide extraordinary possibilities for inducing new forms of spatial experience. These luminous pixel clouds emerge as digital patterns, but at the same time they emanate a romantic quality with their unique star formations twinkling in the night sky. The first projects have shared a playful note, but laboratories such as MIT’s SENSEable City Lab, ARES Lab and Ars Electronica Futurelab have shown an intriguing future in urban design for guidance systems or envisioning real estate developments, as advances in battery technology and wireless control have opened new perspectives for a life with smart flying pixels.

House B.A.B.E. / destilat

Courtesy of

Architects: destilat
Location: Am Bachlberg, , Austria
Year: 2013
Photographs: Courtesy of destilat

Building Transformed Into Giant Rubik’s Cube

For his thesis project, Javier Lloret turned a building into a giant, solvable Rubik’s Cube. Making use of the media facade of the Ars Electronica in Linz, Austria, he projected the world’s most famous handheld puzzle onto a huge scale – inviting passers-by to solve the puzzle. In the process, Lloret transformed the nearby area, showing that (when used correctly) can make the urban environment more fun.

Read on to find out how Lloret did it…

City Cemetery St. Martin / Heidl Architekten

© Josef Pausch

Architects: Heidl Architekten
Location: Linz,
Landscape Architecture: DI Barbara Bacher, Linz
Year: 2008
Photographs: Josef Pausch

Domplatz / hohensinn architektur

© Paul Ott photografiert

Architects: hohensinn architektur
Location: Linz, Austria
Team: Pair Dicke, Ognjen Persoglio,Thomas Klietmann, Klemens Mitheis, Mario Mayrl, Franz Jelisitz
Area: 7100.0 sqm
Year: 2009
Photographs: Paul Ott photografiert

Opera House Linz / Terry Pawson Architects

© Helmut Karl Lackner

Architects: Terry Pawson Architects
Location: Linz,
Executive Architects: Architekturconsult zt gmbh / archinauten – dworschak + mühlbachler architekten zt gmbh
Area: 420 sqm
Year: 2013
Photographs: Helmut Karl Lackner, Dirk schoenmaker

Kindergarten and after-school Care Center / Alexa Zahn architects

© Hertha Hurnaus

Architects: Alexa Zahn architects
Location: Linz,
Architect In Charge: Alexa Zahn, Barbara Schwab
Building Physics: Office Krückl, DI Thomas Seidel
Statics: Office H+W, Werkraum Wien (competition)
Area: 1,200 sqm
Year: 2009
Photographs: Hertha Hurnaus

House 2y / destilat

© Mark Sengstbratl

Architects: destilat
Location: Linz,
Area: 260 sqm
Year: 2011
Photographs: Mark Sengstbratl

Schlossmuseum Linz / HoG Architektur

© Paul Ott

Architects: HoG Architektur
Location: Linz, Austria
Floor Area: 9,800 sqm gross
Exhibition Spaces: 3,600 sqm
Building Costs: Approx. 22 million €
Photographs: Paul Ott, Peter Eder, Jakob Winkler

Science Park Linz / Caramel Architekten

© Hertha Hurnaus

Architects: Caramel Architekten
Location: Linz,
User: Johannes Kepler University, Linz
Structural Engineering: Werkraum ZT gmbh, Vienna
Project Year: 2012
Photographs: Hertha Hurnaus

Wimmer Medien Business Center and Urban Development / Atelier Thomas Pucher


The proposal for the Wimmer Medien Business Center and Urban Development in Linz, by Atelier Thomas Pucher recently won the third prize in the international invited competition. Their main concept is the creation of a 33,600 m2 gross floor area central public space that recovers the mystical feeling of the Italian piazzas, offering flexibility to host the most variety of events and activities, like ice-skating, Christmas market or outdoors cinema. This piazza is also a central point for the social life of the building, providing outdoors spaces for the offices, significant synergies for the commercial area and a feeling of the life of the city to the apartments. More images and architects’ description after the break.

Oasis – Pastoral Care Voestalpine / x architekten

© David Schreyer

Architects: x architekten
Location: Linz, Austria
Project Year: 2011
Project Area: 840 sqm
Photographs: David Schreyer, Rupert Asanger

3M House / destilat

Courtesy of destilat

Architects: destilat
Location: , Austria
Project Year: 2011
Photographs: Courtesy of destilat