subfield of interactive surfaces and
architecture. Media architecture
displays are unique with respect to the
five aspects of the pixel design space:
shape, pattern, spacing, color range,
and content. For instance, pixel shape
may be square, rectangular, circular, 3D
polygonal, and 3D spherical. Whereas
the pixel shape and configuration
of conventional displays are hardly
noticeable, shape and configuration
are part of the visual quality of media
architecture. The mapping of the
design space of a collection of media
architectures may potentially inspire
designers and researchers. What other
shapes may pixels have, and how may
they be organized in space?
This research has been supported by
Innovation Fund Denmark (1311-
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Kim Halskov is professor of interaction design
at Aarhus University. He is head of CAVI (www.
cavi.au.dk) and co-director of the Centre
for Digital Creativity (www.digitalcreativity.
au.dk). His research areas include innovation
processes, design processes, media
architecture, and experience design. In 2007,
Halskov established the media architecture
research group at Aarhus University.
Aron Fischel is a research assistant at the
Centre for Digital Creativity, Aarhus University,
where his research focus is design space
analysis, methods, and tools.
pixels is also in this case 3D polygonal,
but organized as a dynamic matrix
pattern with pixel spacing larger
than the pixel size. The unique visual
interface with only a monochrome color
range allows for the display of extremely
As illustrated by the three cases and the
design space of pixels ( Table 4), media
architecture is a highly specialized
Spine, designed by the Danish design
agency Kollision, is an interactive
installation consisting of 20 glowing
cubes ( 1 meter on each side) mounted in
the ceiling of an old warehouse building
and forming a 50-meter-long spine
(Figure 7). Each cube is connected to
a computer-controlled motor, which
together with motion sensors enables
the light and fluid movement of the
cubes to respond to the movement of
people in the space. The shape of the
DOI: 10.1145/3360325 COP YRIGHT HELD BY AUTHORS. PUBLICATION RIGHTS LICENSED TO ACM. $15.00 F I G
Figure 6. Tessellated matrix pattern.
Figure 7. Spine.
Figure 5. Crystal Mesh.