VIDEO: Zaha Hadid Architects create light mapping projection for festival in Germany

In collaboration with digital artists and computer science researchers Andy Lomas and Mubbasir Kapadia, as well as musician Max Copper, ZHA has created the ‘Behaviour Morphe’ — a light mapping projection for the 2017 Schlosslichtspiele Festival.

Held in Karlsruhe, Germany, the festival curates a programme of dynamic mapping projections on the 170m façade of the city’s Baroque castle. By connecting digital spatial concepts with the 18th century masonry, the festival aims to explore how living spaces can be designed in the future.

ZHA‘s ideas and work fit well with my musical approach, being based on human [and] machine boundaries, and emergence of biological forms from simulated systems of behaviour,” said Cooper. “I drew on a couple of tracks which fit the visual style and the development of the piece, which goes from a playful exploration of human interactions with an architectural space to a barrage of cellular forms and audio-visual intensity.

“I spent a lot of time working on the sound design to score each tiny event and ripple of visual processing to sync with the mapping across the front of the castle.  From my perspective, the crux of the piece is in this synchronisation, bringing the sound to life through the painstaking and in-depth simulation and generative computational approaches of the visuals.”

The projection on the castle’s façade reveals its interiors as digital laboratories of human behavioural simulation, demonstrating the circulation and congregation of digital actors programmed with artificial intelligence that interact with the spaces of the castle and each other.

Dynamic new virtual spaces are defined by using real-time data to interpret the virtual actors’ interactions. These digital spaces are then explored with iterative growth systems that emulate the evolutionary process of nature, demonstrating the potential of metamorphic simulations and digital morphogenetics.