As the snow fell today in Minneapolis, Christmas music and lights began to surround me. Yes, it’s that wonderful time of the year when it’s okay to eat an extra cookie or indulge in the act of purely being festive just for the sake of the holidays. (Perhaps more indulging after finals…)
But as I walked through the engineering department’s Christmas light display I wondered, why have architects not capitalized on this as a design provocation? When buildings like GreenPix in Beijing use innovative digital media technologies to integrate into curtain walls, I begin to wonder… is there any way we can involve this type of thinking to advance the aesthetic of the Christmas spirit?
As much as I love the festiveness, I am a little over stimulated after watching light shows like this. And this has become the pinnacle of holiday lights. But we still watch in amazement thinking, ‘Wow, our houses can’t do that!’
Two architecture firms for Hometta have gotten into the spirit in the last few years in a less technological way. HouMinn Practice’s Draft House and Min | Day’s Wedge House have both been translated into gingerbread homes. The Wedge House even provides free construction instructions online.
But perhaps the most avant-garde in festiveness is 1024 Architecture’s ABIES-Electronicus (Latin for ‘electronic fir’). The Paris based company “focuses on the interaction between body, space, sound, visual, low-tech and hi-tech, art and architecture,” and “makes audio-visual installations, micro-architecture, urban intervention, performances, exhibitions.” ABIES-Electronicus reinterprets the traditional Christmas tree through another Christmas tradition, light displays. The scaffold sculpture defined by light is on display until December 28th in Brussels.
So, any of you looking to out-do your neighbor’s Christmas lights in an innovative way, consult an architect! Architects looking to experiment in digital media technologies, why not start with Christmas?!