luminous architectural surveillance) was an interactive
installation at the Architectural Association School of Architecture, London,
installed May—June 2007—and later recreated at its generous main sponsor's
headquarters—Zumtobel, Dornbirn, Switzerland.
The installation created a spatial 3d-cctv chandelier; a constellation of 1,024 suspended LEDs, arranged to recreate the position of every light source in the AA building, and powered by occupancy. The lights were suspended on translucent power/data cables from a panelled mirror (its doors concealing the equipment) with a laser-cut plan of the school, illustrating their relative position. They illuminated as soon as the space they mapped was occupied. Each LED shape, digitally cut from a design resulting from an intricate set of mapping scripts, replicated the intensity, colour and direction of the real light sources, combining to form a 1:6 model of the way light plays through the building.
The LEDs were controlled by a vast network of sensors—Passive InfraRed detectors, infra-red cameras, and wireless door and seat sensors—all switching on and off and changing in intensity in response to changes in light use throughout the building. A processor recorded the information and, like a clock, played back a time-lapse archive of the exhibition (and the school's life) as hourly intervals—information which was mirrored on a website, where the visitor could navigate virtual time-slices of the building's historical occupancy.
Atmos project webpage: http://www.atmosstudio.com/LightHive
Design: atmos (Alex Haw, director & creator)
Diffuser scripting: Marc Fornes
Supported by: Architectural Association