press release
28/12/2006

Light up the city with Dexia...

Every day until January 15, 2007 from 5 p.m. to 1 a.m.
 
The Dexia Tower on Rogier Square in Brussels is 145 metres high and has 4,200 windows that can be coloured individually, transforming the façade into a unique support that has no equal.
 
Starting today, and for the whole duration of the end-of-year holiday celebrations, Dexia invites everyone to express his or her creativity by personally projecting his or her own compositions onto the Tower.
 
In this regard, a station installed on the square, at the foot of the tower, allows visitors to interact individually or in a group with lighting equipment using a touch screen. Thus, a universe of shapes, movements and lights respond to the fantasy of the `lighting designers'!
 
... and create the most original greeting cards!
 
The ephemeral work of art made in this manner can be recorded and serve as the basis for personalised greeting cards.
 
When a visitor creates a composition, he can capture it in a photo of the tower taken by a camera for this purpose located some distance away and then send it in the form of an electronic postcard. The photo taken in this manner is also loaded onto the project website (www.dexia-tower.com) where it can be found, forwarded by email or printed in PDF format for sending out Christmas or New Year's greetings.
 
A bit of high-tech...
 
Both static (touch) as dynamic input ( gesture ) is recognized to generate an elementary graphical language of points, lines and surfaces combined with physical behaviours ( growth, weight, ... ) taking a monochromatic colour palette ( background ) combined with black and white ( graphical elements ).
 
The design of the interactive station, as the project in general, is based on the idea of folding and unfolding space. This process allows the spatial design to be combined with time-based parameters, inherent to the dynamic and sequential concept of the interactive enlightening of the tower itself.
 
Embodied by two parts, the station is placed on Brussels North-South axis in front of the Dexia Tower. The first fold allows people to interact on a multi-touch-screen, the second fold directly displays the user interaction - finger drawing - on a projection screen. In this manner the station not only establishes a direct relation to the visual and luminous display of the tower but also shows the passers-by the ongoing process of user interaction.
 
The interaction is constituted by both static and dynamic input, taking in account certain parameters such as width ( finger, hand, arm... ), direction ( horizontal, vertical, diagonal ), duration ( introducing growth ), speed ( introducing velocity and weight...) to establish a dynamic, abstract play of graphical elements deduced from the architecture. Each of the inputs defines the colour of the background the architecture will change towards ( coordinate to colour map ), while its direction ( positive or negative ) defines the colour of the graphical element evoked ( white or black).
 
The touch screen allows multiple inputs and thus allows on the one hand, people to interact with more than one finger, and on the other hand, to interact together, extending individual interaction to a collective experience.
 
This real-time and collective interaction on an urban scale transforms the Dexia Tower into a new Brussels landmark which presents art to the city.
 
'Touch' is a project by the Belgian digital design and art lab, LAb[au], Laboratory for Architecture and Urbanism.
 
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The Dexia Tower is the work of  PHILIPPE SAMYN AND PARTNERS, M. & J.M. JASPERS - J. EYERS & PARTNERS., architects.
The lighting has been designed by Barbara Hediger, lighting engineer