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Today, architecture often boasts dynamic lighting, displaying and movable elements that transform the physical appearance of the buildings. This phenomenon is known as media architecture or as media architecture and design.


Media architecture is a complex design challenge. It requires expertise in architectural design, urban design, interaction design, lighting design, user experience and community engagement.


Simple definition (by Oleg BOGOMOLOV)

“Media Architecture is an art of organic integration of media technologies in the built environment. “

Extended definition (by Martin BRYNSKOV)

“Media Architecture is an overarching concept that covers the design of physical spaces at architectural scale incorporating materials with dynamic properties that allow for dynamic, reactive or interactive behavior. These materials are often digital, but not always, and they allow architects and (interaction) designers to create spatial contexts for situations using a variety of modalities.”



The concept of media architecture covers the use of displays, light sources, movable elements, and other technologies embedded to the built environment and logically combined to make (un)expected effects to the audience. They make an integrated part of buildings and urban spaces.


All combination of used technologies can be divided on master and slave ones. Any project in media architecture is based on one or several master technologies like

  • LED displays (standard, curtains etc.)

  • LED elements (pixels, bars, strips etc.)

  • light elements

  • movable elements

  • alternative items and technologies

These technologies can also be mixed. As an example, it may be a LED display divided on several movable pieces.


All slave technologies are aimed to engage the audience to the media architecture's context and to boost the resulting effects. They are based on



  • public devices (screens, kiosks, manipulators etc.)

       - DIY (Do-it-yourself)

       - DIWO (Do-it-with-Others)

  • responsive elements (detectors etc.)

  • personal devices

      - BYOD (Bring-Your-Own- device)



  • on-site applications for public devices

  • mobile applications for personal devices

  • social media

  • special applications for interactivity, for content creation, etc.


Media Architectures mostly consist of several of these components, which are steadily modified. The pioneers of this field contributed new components (like advanced pixels) or new forms of interaction and have been able to create entirely new media formats for the urban space.


Generally innovation within Media Architecture takes place on different levels: new hardware (like facade systems), new applications (like mobile games) and new architectural forms; but the biggest innovation lies in the combination of already existing technologies (like LED displays and social media) and in the creation of interfaces between them.


The most obvious value of media architecture is its ability to augment social cohesion by acting as a conversation starter and by increasing identity cognition and community feeling through the creation and sharing of content, resulting in the reinforcement of people's social identity and civic pride. Media architecture is therefore often seen as a catalyst that positively influences the frequency and quality of social activities in public space.

Media architecture acts as a barrier eliminator, connecting people with people, people with environments, and environments with environments. And all of this is possible because of the way information gets shared. With information sharing happening in real-time, everywhere, implications spring forward that may impact the way how architecture is designed.


Media Architecture grows at the intersection of physical and digital space and needs a form of understanding that is beyond traditional architecture and media art/design as it brings up entirely genuine challenges and opportunities. This intersection is steadily growing and produces a number of artefacts that can be combined in many ways.

The main difficulty and at the same time the main opportunity is that media architecture needs all-round knowledge and expertise. This interdisciplinarity lays between specialists in

  • architecture

  • design

  • art

  • psychology and human behavior

  • system integration

  • AV integration

  • visual technologies

  • IT

  • etc.


To facilitate the process and to improve the best results in concept creation, design development, and project implementation there are some companies providing this service.

The complexity of the media architecture tasks makes unite different specialists to create innovative projects.


WOWing.PRO is one of the first communities which was found by enthusiasts, devotees, and professionals in media architecture Oleg BOGOMOLOV and Alex SHPILOV. Architects, designers, artists, AV specialists, programmers and engineers meet at this community to unite their forces for outstanding results.

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