Hybrid Space @ Arch Komm

The public space of the city is dissolving and merging into the expanding media networks:

The traditional functions of public urban space are increasingly being taken over by telecommunication networks and mass media, whose input and output devices are almost exclusively located in private spaces.

Publication Hybrid Space @ Arch-Komm, Cologne, Germany, 1 May 1999


The public space of the city is dissolving and merging into the expanding media networks: The traditional functions of public urban space are increasingly being taken over by telecommunication networks and mass media, whose input and output devices are almost exclusively located in private spaces.

This privatization of communication is leading to an increasing social divide between the groups of the ‘networked’ and those excluded from media-based social communication. A split is currently emerging between the exclusive (global) media networks and the disintegrating (local) urban agglomerations.
This division and polarity between the ‘global’ and the ‘local’ space is increasing, with the power structures of the ‘global’ overriding the local forces. The ‘local’ and privatized (refuge) place, whether ghetto or upper-class reservation, without a functioning (communication) system of mediation, is becoming less and less important.

The project ‘public media urban Interfaces’ develops a scenario for the interplay of mass media and urban space in order to strengthen the significance of public space: it proposes public interfaces between urban and media space.
It thus occupies the vacuum between the ‘local’ and the ‘global’ and unfolds this free space by accelerating local events and allowing them to collide with the global network. Local (neighborhood) facilities in the form of combined analogue-digital environments make it possible to produce messages interactively in a public place and to disseminate them according to a dynamic editorial and broadcasting system.

These proposed spatial interfaces, embedded in the public space of the city, give everyone access to the global ‘media village’ to broadcast and influence – directly from the local neighborhood.
The Media Babies function as spatial interfaces on a local neighborhood basis (‘Media Babies in your launderette’) while the Bridge Clubs are larger mass event spaces of city-wide significance. A specific protocol for the spatially graduated distribution of messages (Air TimeSpace for All Smart Card) supports the public dynamic structure of the network and equips the communication system with a self-organized heterarchy.

Vision The result of the convergence of urban and media space, whether Media Baby or Bridge Club, is a hybrid: an ambivalent space that is both analogue and digital, virtual and material, haptic and abstract, and simultaneously participates in and mediates between media (global) and urban (local) space. The project thus illustrates a new interdisciplinary design field in which the dynamic interplay between urban planning and the space of mass media and communication networks is investigated. ‘Soft Urbanism’ deals with the ‘soft’ aspects of the city and intervenes at the level of infrastructure: by providing networks and interfaces, new fields of possibility for design are opened up and frameworks for processes of self-organization are developed. First published in German in the publication of the International Forum for Design Ulm, Annual Congress 1996.


The projects of the students and graduates explore and illustrate experimental media spatial designs and their interaction with urban space.

Kontrollorgan, Carsten Becker
In our daily lives, we leave behind an ever-increasing wealth of electronic traces. Personal data is generated everywhere. Detached from us, this data flows through electronic networks and databases. Kontrollorgan gives shape to our infinitely fragmented data shadow. The program links a person’s data shadows, analyses them and generates a three-dimensional shape from them. Kontrollorgan mirrors our data shadow online and focusses it into a data portrait. Each person’s life creates a different individual shape. What relationships will develop between our digital alter ego and ourselves?
trace pattern, Ursula Damm The project deals with the discrepancy between the everyday living environment and imagined ‘lived-through inner spaces’. It aims to develop an architecture that is adaptable. The starting point is movement behavior. From simple, observable variables, references are to be derived that lead to a modeling of properties as a result of interaction. People in space are therefore autonomous islands; ‘field models’ of movement, space utilisation, communication and energy are generated.

Trace-pattern, Ursula Damm
The installation observes the movements of people in public places and their interactions during spontaneous encounters. Geometric interpretations question typical spatial relationships (territorial behaviour) in places of concentration, making them visually and acoustically perceptible. An overhead camera captures the traces of movement and whereabouts (circles) – a network of lines from which virtual landscapes can be calculated. They are an image of possible architecture and scrutinize the structure of the city and the shape of urban plans.

Superkollektor, Felix Hahn, Holger Reckter
The super collector thematizes the first resignation with the world’s largest data container. At the same time, it attempts to show a new perspective and expand the view of the Internet that is limited by the browser window. The Superkollektor is a software program that moves independently through the Internet based on a guiding concept. On its way, it collects sound files, image files and structural data associated with the term. The collected data results in a continuous flow of sounds and images that can be perceived via the installation’s loudspeaker and monitor. The relatedness of the content results in a data landscape: noise of arbitrariness interspersed with islands of information but also grotesque sound and image elements.

electric shroom, Antenne Springborn & Klaus Gasteier
‘an audiovisual multiuser ambience sculpture’ The shroom is an interface for images & sounds in a chill environment, accessible to multiple users. Shapes and colors dance around on a mushroom-like plant, merging with each other and pulsating to the rhythm of the sounds they represent. The available pools of audiovisual material are surfed through by the visitors together: colored icons on three palm-sized buttons are the instrument with which the image-sound collage can be navigated. The shapes react to the dynamics of the respective sound. Four separate sound channels offer surround sound, so that it is possible to perceive spatially which channel has just been influenced.

Envisions an a user generated magazine. electronic Iayers can form an architectural situation. this is space created by information, therefore it is temporary and always changing.”
An experimental work on urban networks in connection with an electronic magazine on the Internet. The global proliferation of the Internet is turning it into a digital dung heap. How can we utilize our resources more effectively and enable different access points?

LIQUID COLUMN / SQUAD THE NEWSBUS The traveling electronic magazine is housed in a bus and can be accessed via the Internet. From this mobile information container, advertising pillars installed in the city and countryside are displayed. There the information can be read, updated, linked, downloaded and changed.

zwei Objekte/zwei Subjekte, Andreas Menn
The head-mounted systems are worn by two people. The system can be used anywhere. There is also a media bag that can be conveniently slung over the shoulder. ‘Two objects/two subjects’ form a joint communication system. The interface is always the other person. By changing their perspective and losing control of their visual orientation, they experience themselves and the space around them as a media construction – a simulation of a virtual space.

related PROJECTS


The international travelling exhibition NatureTecture presents the fields of landscape architecture in all their breadth and relevance.
The exhibition is based on landscape architectural expertise from North Rhine-Westphalia and refers to examples of landscape architecture from NRW.
NatureTecture focuses on those fields of work that will become increasingly important internationally for the design of our living environments and formulates relevant questions for the future.
The NatureTecture exhibition is dedicated to the tasks and instruments of qualifying landscape in the post-industrial age.
The international travelling exhibition on the fields of work of landscape architecture is organized by the Chamber of Architects of North Rhine-Westphalia with the support of the Ministry of Building and Transport of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia.

Concept NatureTecture @ Chamber of Architects, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, 1 September 2009
Exhibition NatureTecture @ Chamber of Architects, Düsseldorf, Germany 11 Februar -17 March 2010
Exhibition NatureTecture @ Representation of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia to the European Union, Berlin, Germany, 9 June-12 July 2010
Exhibition NatureTecture @ Chamber of Architects of Jeollabuk-Do Province (KIRA Jeonbuk), Republic of Korea, 1 September- 4 September 2010
Exhibition NatureTecture @ Building Culture Fair Daejeon 2010, Republic of Korea, 14-19 October 2010
Exhibition NatureTecture @ Architecture and Urbanism Fair Gwangju, Republic of Korea, 3-7 November 2010
Exhibition NatureTecture @ Turkish Chamber of Architects of the Metropolis of Istanbul, Turkey, 26 November-10 December 2010
Exhibition NatureTecture @ 20th Anniversary of German Reunification, Busan, Republic of Korea, 8-14 December 2010

related NEWS

Newsletter June 2019

Future Narratives and Immersive Experiences symposium at the Film University Babelsberg KONRAD WOLF on May 22 2019 brought together interdisciplinary co-creators in the audiovisual sector, companies dealing with media, VR / AR / MR, games, 3D sound, the staging of productions, communication, heritage and cultural institutions or other fields of activity with the urge of delivering high-quality storytelling in the digital era.

Newsletter June 2019 @ Hybrid Space Lab, Berlin, 15 June 2019