Winners of the Media Architecture Awards

Winners of the Media Architecture Awards

The holocaust monument Levenslicht (Light of Life) consisting of 104.000 illuminating stones by Dutch artist Daan Roosegaarde won in the category Spatial Media Art, the biggest category of the Media Architecture Awards. The awards are handed out in 5 categories to the best projects in the integration of displays, interactive installations and other media into architectural structures, such as facades and urban screens.

The five winners clearly demonstrate the diversity of media architecture. This relatively new discipline is a combination of architecture, urban planning, digital media, design and art. Among the winner are manifestations as diverse as a interactive holocaust monument, the design of an innovative brick that functions as a lens, The Digital Bricks in the category Animated Architecture, or solar panels that function as a screen of Novartis Pavillon, the best Future Prototype.

Winner in the new category More Than Human was Touching Night Skies 50°06'44"N 8°40'36"E, a completely analogue installation that reconnect inner-city residents with the nigh skies. The cinematic street protest SP_Urban Arte Conecta with projections on building in four Brazilian cities was best in the category Participatory Architecture And Infrastructures.The category Branding Architecture was declared deserted this edition, since only four projects were submitted to the category.

The MAA2020 are part of the Media Architecture Biennale that took place last week in Amsterdam. In an online award ceremony on July 2 the awards were handed to best projects in the integration of displays, interactive installations and other media into architectural structures, such as facades and urban screens. The award ceremony was live-streamed and can be viewed here.


Spatial Media Art

The category with the most entries is Spatial Media Art, with projects that are produced in an artistic context at the intersection of architecture and media art with installations that have an innovative form of spatial interaction and/or perception of space. 


Project artist: Studio Roosegaarde

An installation of 104 thousand luminescent stones, dispersed over 170 municipalities in the Netherlands, as a remembrance of the Dutch Holocaust victims. By using invisible ultraviolet light, the specially developed stones with fluorescent pigments can light up every few seconds, like a breath of light. This way, Levenslicht is not only remembrance of emotional stories but also an activator, to stress the importance of freedom in the future.

“A loaded topic – the remembrance of the Dutch Holocaust victims – is made literally visible in the countless number of corresponding stones. The creative thinker Roosegaarde realized an innovative landscape for the future by telling a wordless but emotionally charged stories. This way a tragedy of more than 70 years ago is made palpable for younger generations”, explains jury member Frank Suurenbroek, a professor Spatial Urban Transformation at Amsterdam University.


A new category that was introduced this edition is More Than Human. It features projects that explore the relation between humans and non-humans in the city, contributing to ecologically sustainable urban futures. 

Touching Night Skies 50°06'44"N 8°40'36"E

Project artist: Tobias Ziegler – TBSZGLR

Winners of the Media Architecture Awards - Image 2 of 5
© TBSZGLR / C. Grumpelt

The winner is a deeply black installation on the busiest square in the center of Frankfurt (one the most light polluted cities in Germany) showing only the nigh skies above. After entering this deeply black folly the visitor is surrounded by black and therefore invisible walls and only sees the nigh skies above. 

“The simple concept is powerful in creating darkness within a city and so raises questions about the relationship humans have with the night sky, our dependence on technology, and the impact society has on the environments we create and inhabit”, explains jury member Glenda Caldwell, Senior Lector in Architecture at QUT, Australia.

Animated Architecture 

Projects demonstrating creative media façade designs that enlarge or change the perception of a building or public space by adding layers of meaning and experiences.

The Digital Bricks

Project artist: Science Gallery Melbourne, Arup

Architecture: Woods Bagot

An installation of 226 polished and illuminated glass bricks that are integrated within a building’s clay brick ground floor structure. Each glass brick sits in front of a small, high-brightness and high-resolution LED screen. Shown are historic images of the gradual transitions from pre-colonial knowledge to Western colonisation and occupation of the ‘traditional lands’ in Australia. 

“Not only is this media experience technically very challenging, it is also site specific by offering a poetic window on the past’, explains Ava Fatah gen. Schieck, jury member and Associate Professor at the Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London.

Future Trends & Prototypes 

Projects that shed light on what the future of media architecture might look like, both with working prototypes as well as conceptual and speculative projects

Novartis Pavillon

Project artist: iart

Architecture: Novartis Pharma AG, AMDL CIRCLE & Blaser Architekten

Winners of the Media Architecture Awards - Image 5 of 5
© iart

A building façade of translucent cells that are equipped with organic solar panels and LED elements. It shows lighted messages and visuals and generates its own electricity. It consists of a network of translucent cells that are equipped with organic solar panels and LED elements.

“In this project two existing technologies – LED lights and solar panels – are combined in a completely innovative way, and thus introducing a new technology. That is what makes this such a good prototype”, says jury member Filippo Lodi, associate director & senior architect at architectural studio UNStudio in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

Participatory Architecture And Infrastructures

Projects that aim to impact the social and political life in the city, and empower citizens to become active participants in their communities. 

SP_Urban Arte Conecta

Project artist: collaborative

Initiative: Marília Pasculli

Winners of the Media Architecture Awards - Image 3 of 5
© Verve Cultural

Organized activist projections on the facades of buildings in nine locations in four Brazilian cities by using synchronized projectors located in apartment windows of artists and collaborators. A significant number of visual works expressed messages against the violation of civil rights and abuse of public power. 

“Artists claimed the right to public health service, freedom of expression, and reinforced social and health practices in the face of rampant disinformation. At the same time they created new ways to connect people in safe and meaningful ways while respecting lockdown policies”, jury member Dave Colangelo, an artist himself and founding member of Public Visualization Studio.

About this author
Cite: Jeroen Junte. "Winners of the Media Architecture Awards" 02 Jul 2021. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

You've started following your first account!

Did you know?

You'll now receive updates based on what you follow! Personalize your stream and start following your favorite authors, offices and users.