Amsterdam – Standing inside the DeepLumen Cube by ASB Architectural is like being momentarily suspended in a different world. At Frame Lab 2019, visitors had an opportunity to visit that world: the 3-by-6-metre cube was installed at De Kromhouthal for the event, steps from the illuminated main stage and catwalk powered by ASB GlassFloor LumiFlex technology.
DeepLumen’s digital algorithms are designed by Munich-based artist Marc Gumpinger and brought to life by over 800,000 LED lights. The lights live behind opaque glass on one side; transitioning scenes are reflected by the three additional glass surfaces within the space as to create the immersive experience. Spectators on the outside of the virtual environment can also see those within, generating a dual sense of perception.
It’d be hard to count just how many selfies were taken inside DeepLumen during the two-day Frame event, but the video cube became more than just a photo op. It was a favoured place to take five: friends sat down to enjoy a drink inside, couples shared quick embraces and some mentioned they wished they could set up camp for a whole new kind of napping experience. And indeed, looking up at the ceiling was reminiscent of excitedly looking up at glow-in-the-dark stars before bed as a child.
In private and public space, the virtual environment has the potential to convey an interactive sense of ambiance, and offers the potential for limitless customisation. It’s one of the reasons ASB’s managing director Christof Babinsky thinks their technologies – originally designed for use in sporting venues – can prove beneficial to architectural and design companies looking to express their brand identity in a unique way at fairs, conferences and events such as Frame Lab.
‘We try to turn LED screens – normally used in digital signage to shout at you – into versatile architectural and tactile surfaces that gives designers a completely flexible element in terms of design,’ said Babinsky during Frame Lab’s Digital by Design talk.
In a later conversation with Frame, he explained that inputs can be taken from new data-streams already available in many modern buildings, like the amount of people occupying the building, temperatures across the building, or the location of different objects.
‘There's new opportunites for designers to integrate changing elements and implement ways of utilising information relevant to the building or the client,' he continued. 'Looking into the future, looking into crowded cities, looking into more and more types of organisation, we need more of that multi-functionality.’
In addition to exhibiting the Deep Lumen Cube with his team, Christof Babinsky – along with Rachel Arthur, Ren Yee and Kati Barklund – was a part of the Digital by Design talk at Frame Lab, which explored the challenges of implementing new technologies in design projects. You can see the full talk below.