City Bug Report

As one of the major outdoor installations, the City Hall Tower was lit up during and after the Media Architecture Biennale 2012, which took place in Aarhus, Denmark. The project was realized as a collaboration between the Media Architecture Institute (MAI) and Aarhus University/PIT/CAVI, with generous support from AHL Media facades, who sponsored the hardware.

We used S25-3 Pixel Type and CP950 controllers, which turned out to be a very powerful combination. We installed about 5500 pixels, and used 4 controllers, 1 on each level. The CP950 can drive 680 pixels per port, and provides 8 ports. Without the problems of cabling, we could have easily done this set-up with two controllers.

The building itself was designed by the famous Danish architect, Arne Jacobsen, and has been a landmarked monument since 1994, which was the reason the mounting had to be completely reversible. We came up with a very lightweight sub-construction that was simply clipped onto an existing railing. Because of this, we were able to complete the whole project in approximately 5 days, with a team of 3 people on the tower, which was supported by an ever-changing number of volunteer students. A big “Thank You” to them! The content, which was displayed on the four levels of the tower, was part of the “City Bug Report”, a system whereby the citizens of Aarhus can report problems in their home town via internet, even via smart phone. Each of the moving circular graphical elements on the constructed screen represents a bug at a different stage, with respect to the time passed since reported and its status. Finally, when the problem is resolved, the representation of the bug dies in a white fade out.