The Screen: Content Beyond the Surface

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Tali Krakowsky, WET Design.
Tali Krakowsky, WET Design.
Sometimes you come across things that seem so obvious and right that you can't imagine how they didn't always exist.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, we have taken for granted what a screen could be. Televisions, billboards, computers, smart mobile devices and light-emitting diodes (LED) all assume that a screen is a flat surface.

Advertising agencies have forever focused most of their campaigns on the mapping of ideas and messages onto those two-dimensional planes.

My encounter with M. Hank Haeusler was a reminder to me that our imagination is the source of most of our limitations. Hank finished his PhD at the Spatial Information Architecture Laboratory/RMIT University in Melbourne. Right now he's working on three-dimensional screens that blur the boundaries between media and architecture.

This is an anamorphic example of how images can becomes spatial:

Below are two different models that Hank is experimenting with to create spatial screens that take the anamorphic concept and add to it the dimension of time.

Each wirelessly controlled light node is aware of its relationship to the others in the network. Designed in the abstracted shape of a face, the screen could potentially map an infinite amount of different faces.

Even more interesting is Hank's matrix array model. The idea is to extrude our content into three dimensions where each pixel becomes an LED array:

Of course, with this kind of technology, the content becomes more important than ever. But that's a whole other story...

Check out Haeusler's new book, Media Facades: History, Technology and Content.


Tali Krakowsky, Director of Experience Design, heads a think tank at WET. Working closely with design, research and production, she focuses on developing new ideas, technologies and business opportunities for the short- and long-term future of the firm.
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