AEC Facade Terminal

Photo: rubra

Opening the Membrane towards the City

The facade of the new Ars Electronica Center is equipped with LED panes which can be used in various ways to create art. A public terminal allows the general public control over the façade, enabling them to be co-creators, or even to hand over the creation process to them.

The “Fassadenterminal” (façade terminal) was developed by the Ars Electronica Futurelab and presented to the public in 2010: It enabled artistic use of the Ars Electronica Center’s media façade, that is equipped with 38,500 LEDs.

The 5,100 square meters of the façade could be “played” live by visitors via the façade terminal placed on the Danube embankment. If an MP3 player was connected to the device, the entire building played the selected music and all LED lamps pulsed to the rhythm of the music; the visuals could be designed by the users themselves and in real time. In addition, users could transmit their own heart beat to the building via a pulse sensor and design pulse patterns and colors. Direct interaction with the facade terminal was also possible via an integrated camera.

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Video documentation by Dan Wilcox

In 2022, the façade terminal was modernized by the Ars Electronica Futurelab after a lengthy hiatus and relaunched as Play the façade with a web app.


Research & Development: Michael Augustyn, Stefan Fuchs, Michael Mayr, Kristefan Minski, Stefan Mittlböck-Jungwirth-Fohringer, Andreas Pramböck, Erwin Reitböck, Dan Wilcox