January 19, 2014


Pixel Sonne - Konstellation
..slightly taming sunlight.

Presented at:

By Johann Gielen
Music by Whitest Boy Alive

July 31, 2011

Industrial grid

Perceive with me:
Metal plates that are built into luminaires for road lighting.

November 10, 2010

Lecture on Pixel Sonne

Hello World. Please check out the following announcement! There will be a lecture held by Prof. Jens Ginzel, Tim and me on Nov. 24th in Hamburg about Pixel Sonne / Reflektordisplay:

The lecture will be held at
HAW Hamburg, Kunst- und Mediencampus Finkenau, Room 139

November 8, 2010

Luminance is the parameter! What are Physical Media Façades?

What are Physical Media Architectures? Here are some thoughts and examples on that subject:

Physical Media Architectures are surfaces in architectural space that are able to change its visual appearance.

They change appearance in different ways. The tool box for designing a Physical Media Architectures is this:

Factors to influence
-Reflective properties
-Orientation in relation to the viewer
-Position and luminous flux of the light source
-Point of view

Most of the time they consist of some kind of visual matrix. Therefore Physical Media Architectures are able to display visual content in a similar way to a conventional Media Façade equipped with artificial light sources.

If you break it down to the very visual perception all MEDIA FACADES ARE A MATRIX OF DIGITALLY CONTROLLABLE LUMINANCES.

Luminances are the thing to play with! Nowadays there's so many more ways to influence the visual appearance of a space than using artificial light sources and designing in the most direct way. The goal is to digitally control the visual appearance of surfaces. The main challenge in this subject is to create the right interfaces and technologies to gain access to the visual appearance of surfaces. The next step is to deliberately coordinate the visual appearance of each single small fragments to create the bigger picture called visual perception of space.

Influencing the luminance or even more general: influencing the character of reflections is the most important parameter if it comes to designing Physical Media Architectures.

Luminance is the main perceptual measuring unit!

By Johann Gielen

Some stunningly beautiful examples:

by David Goulthorpe

Fountain Clock
by Kanazawa Station

Dynamic facade
by Kiefer Technic

Shade Pixel
by Hyunjung Kim and Woohun Lee

by Tim Prentice

Human Media Façade
by South Korea

by Martin Frey

Adaptive Bloom
by Justin Goodyer

Justin Goodyer: Adaptive Bloom - Bartlett School of Architecture from Ruairi Glynn on Vimeo.

Spiral Wall
by Archgary

Tipping Wall
by Ned Kahn

One Day Poem
by Jiyeon Song

Adaptive fa[CA]de
by Marilena Skavara

Marilena Skavara's Adaptive fa[CA]de at Digital Hinterlands exhibition, London from marilena on Vimeo.

Kinetic Sculpture
by Art+Com

Wooden Mirror
by Daniel Rozin

Weave Mirror
by Daniel Rozin

Shiny Balls Mirror
by Daniel Rozin

Trash Mirror
by Daniel Rozin

Mirrors Mirror
by Daniel Rozin

by Adam Somlai-Fischer

Aleph Reorganizing Vision from Adam Somlai-Fischer on Vimeo.

by rAndom International

"Mirrors" - Kinetic Sculpture from rAndom International on Vimeo.

Temporary Printing Machine Limited Edition
by rAndom International

Temporary Printing Machine Limited Edition from rAndom International on Vimeo.

Bit Fall
by Julius Popp

Bit Code
by Julius Popp

Flare Facade
by WHITEvoid

July 28, 2010

Bike Speeding -Quick and Slick

Marking lines on roads are brilliant to ride a bike on. There's less friction between the tire and the ground. This makes higher speeds possible.

On the other hand braking is much more difficult, though. Tires are more likely to slip on the slick marking lines..

By Johann Gielen

March 10, 2008

enjoy subtleness

sightune: I did some experiments with public displays that show ads in phone booths. simply adding a layer of printed translucent paper! this diffuses the ads and provides back lighting for the new layer of static content on the paper.

By Johann Gielen

October 28, 1981

Short Bio Johann Gielen

Johann Gielen is a lighting designer and artist. He received his Dipl.-Ing. from HafenCity Universität Hamburg in Urban Planning specialising in natural light art for public spaces. He studied Architectural Lighting Design at KTH Stockholm and Applied Lighting Technology at TU Ilmenau.
Gielen currently heads the lighting design of Sharp LED Lighting Europe and has previously worked for internationally renowned lighting designers and landscape architects.
Besides well-crafted lighting design his interests lie in subtle lighting effects. All technological means capable of transforming the visual appearance of an object are appealing to him. This interest lead him to become a theorist in the field of Media Architecture writing about ways to create visual media without artificial light sources.
In interdisciplinary collaborations Gielen explores the role and functions of future digital devices in urban environments. He is searching for unusual ways of expression that emphasise the importance of truly public spaces for open societies.
His project Pixel Sonne gained recognition for its unique approach celebrating natural light and its ephemerality. Sunlight is slightly tamed by digital means yet always sustains its irrepressible nature. It has been shown at conferences like Media Architecture Biennale and the International Symposium on Pervasive Displays.