LightHive, London

LightHive, Architectural Association School of Architecture London Interactive Installation, Zumtobel


Luminous Architectural Surveillance London: AA Interior – design by atmos, architects

26 Dec 2014


Location: Architectural Association School of Architecture, London, England, UK ; Zumtobel, Dornbirn, Switzerland

Design: atmos


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LightHive (subtitled “luminous architectural surveillance”) was an interactive installation at the Architectural Association School of Architecture, London, installed May – June 2007 – and later recreated at its generous main sponsor’s headquarters – Zumtobel, Dornbirn, Switzerland.

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The installation created a spatial 3d-cctv chandelier; a constellation of 1,024 suspended LEDs, arranged to recreate the position of every light source in the AA building, and powered by occupancy.

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The lights were suspended on translucent power/data cables from a panelled mirror (its doors concealing the equipment) with a laser-cut plan of the school, illustrating their relative position.

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They illuminated as soon as the space they mapped was occupied. Each LED shape, digitally cut from a design resulting from an intricate set of mapping scripts, replicated the intensity, colour and direction of the real light sources, combining to form a 1:6 model of the way light plays through the building.

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The LEDs were controlled by a vast network of sensors – Passive InfraRed detectors, infra-red cameras, and wireless door and seat sensors – all switching on and off and changing in intensity in response to changes in light use throughout the building.

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A processor recorded the information and, like a clock, played back a time-lapse archive of the exhibition (and the school’s life) as hourly intervals – information which was mirrored on a website, where the visitor could navigate virtual time-slices of the building’s historical occupancy.

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LightHive London – Building Information


Atmos project webpage:

Project Team
Design: atmos (Alex Haw, director & creator)
Diffuser scripting: Marc Fornes
Supported by: Architectural Association

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LightHive Architectural Association School of Architecture London Interactive Installation images / information from atmos

The AA is the oldest independent school of architecture in the UK and one of the most prestigious and competitive in the world.

Address: Architectural Association School of Architecture, 36 Bedford Square, London WC1B 3ES, UK
Phone: 020 7887 4000

Location:36 Bedford Square, London WC1B 3ES, UK ‘

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Comments / photos for the LightHive – Architectural Association School of Architecture London page welcome