Porte des Savoirs, EPFL

Fusion of art and technology on LED floors

The indisputable value of an LED floor as a powerful marketing tool has been used in hundreds of projects in show-business, branding events, and retail. However, there are projects that aim to reveal its aesthetic rather than practical value. Created on a crossroad of art and technology these projects produce a striking effect by integrating seemingly incompatible elements into a single piece of art.

Porte des Savoirs is probably one of the most unusual projects implemented with the use of an LED floor. The installation occupies all the space of a specially designed location with its floor covered with 19.2 square meters of -manufactured WOWFloor digital panels. High-definition text bands are displayed on the video floor and then become reflected on mirrored walls and ceiling. The conjunction of mirrors with interactive LED video floor creates a unique informational medium penetrated with text lines of different size and speed of moving. Surrounded by floating bands of text observers find themselves literally immersed into streams of information that flow onto them.  

Porte des Savoirs is implemented by architects and designers of synthetic design studio established at Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL) together with . The project questions how a man perceives endless flows of information that people are subject to nowadays. As a unique information medium, the installation reports real-time news from Lausanne universities.

Underworld LED installation in the Unicorn theaterSince 2005, the Unicorn, the first professional theater for children in London has for its visitors an LED art piece installed in the lobby. Designed by a contemporary artist David Cotterrell the Underworld installation takes the form of an LED screen embedded into the floor. 24 panels of the -manufactured 6 mm pixel pitch LED tiles were transformed into a magic window overlooking the alternative world of urban environment. The imagery features evolving cityscapes that are generated algorithmically according to mathematical instruction and parameters.

Commenting on the piece, Cotterrell said: “Underworld is an alternate virtual space that meets with the physical architecture of the Unicorn through an illuminated screen. The screen is a formal addition to the building in that its shape and position reference the architectural principles of its context, but it is also a window onto another landscape.”

In 2007, tourist attractions of the seaside city of Zadar, Croatia, had been enriched with a compelling installation designed by Zadar architect Nikola Bašić. Named Greeting to the Sun, the art piece, features a circular display 22 meters in diameter made from free-form LED tiles. However, what makes it unique is a merger of technology and renewable sources of energy. Encased in three hundred multilayered that the display is composed of are solar fed photovoltaic cells. Absorbing the sun energy at daytime, the display comes alive at night mesmerizing with lights. Colorful, geometric patterns displayed on its surface are synchronized with another Bašić's installation called Sea Organs that imitate the rhythm of the waves. The solar fed installation represents the capabilities of natural energy sources: not only does it meet its energy needs, but also produces enough energy to illuminate the whole waterfront.

Art installations feature LED floor in the most unusual of applications making it an endless field for creative experiments. However different, these projects inspire to search out-of-the-box solutions and discover new sides of common things.

Tags: EKTA , Barco, LED floor, Art installations, Leurocom