• Katarzyna Urbanowicz Gdansk University of Technology
  • Lucyna Nyka Gdansk University of Technology
Keywords: interactive installations, media architecture, public space, social encounters


This paper examines the potential for media architecture and interactive art installations to stimulate human involvement and activities in public spaces. On the basis of theoretical approaches, case studies and interdisciplinary surveys, the paper provides insight into how screens projecting media and interactive installations in city spaces can inspire people to become active on many levels. The research is focused, both on temporary and permanent art installations, that support new technologies to encourage people to interact with art objects and become actors in an urban performance. Media and interactive art can positively contribute to the urban landscape, foster public involvement, increase intensity of public life, and effectively enhance the identity of urban communities. The paper shows that, despite this potential for media architecture and interactive art projects, specific pre-conditions are needed for their success in urban environments. The paper focuses on the convergence of scale between the intervention itself and the assumed urban strategy, as well as on the time allowed for individual perception and active participation of people in the particular urban art scenario. As the research shows, the promotion of art pieces, through guided tours of the city, tends to reduce the perception of the installations themselves and almost excludes social interactions. Thus, while not so spectacular in scale, image, or number of visits, modest interventions that involve locals and allow time for relationship building between people, could be most effective in reaching urban renewal objectives.


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