Merit Award, Lot with a Little

Eighty-one colored lights cover a distance of over 180 meters, visible both inside and outside the building. Visitors instantly manipulate lighting patterns through touching single digit keys on their mobile phone.

In this temporary installation, the designer explores how our relationship to buildings may be changed through wireless and computing technologies. Serious issues are raised concerning access and control and of personal experience overlapping the public experience. It is unprecedented for an individual on the street to control massive building facades – however briefly. Beyond that, the designer wanted to create playful experience.

Goals included devising an elegant interface with a clear and instantaneous response. The experience was hugely satisfying for the user and compelling both inside the building and outside at the urban scale. The ubiquitous mobile phone helped make the hardware control interface transparent and allowed for free movement throughout the installation. Easy-to-learn patterns included left and right chases, random displays, acceleration, and a "kill" key that briefly lit all lights before extinguishing them.

The project evolved from a novel spectacle to become an integral part of school life and even a vehicle for communication. Several people reported calling the building while traveling overseas to signal in code with friends.


Jury Comments: 

"This temporal installation spectacle of light and color demonstrated an ability to activate a very large background building at an impressive urban scale. Its playfulness and invitation to interact through mobile phone technology generated a great deal of interest in the community. It functioned as an effective tool to create a new awareness for the built environment."

Design Firm: 



Southern California Institute of Architecture

Location City: 

Los Angeles, California

Project Area: 

180 meters

Open Date: 


Project Budget: 


Photo Credits: 

Cameron McNall

Design Team: 

Cameron McNall, Damon Seeley




Cameron McNall, Damon Seeley

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