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Stories of wallpapers
Regine Debatty, 13 Apr 05

interacitewalppp.jpgThe Solar Powered Wallpaper, developed by Marta Lwin, with Ty Whitfield, Teresita Cochran, and Ramakrishnan Subramanian during the Sustainable Energy Class at ITP, merges environmentally conscious design with innovative lighting technology.

By embedding electroluminescent materials into the pattern of the wallpaper and incorporating a light sensor, the wallpaper responds to the lighting requirement of a room, acting as a decorative element when a room is naturally bright, and as a wallpaper light when the space requires more light. With power supplied from a solar charged battery or standard electricity, it can also be manually controlled to increase or decrease luminosity.

The work is on show at the Interactive Multimedia Culture expo, on April 14th - 23rd, at the Chelsea Art Museum, in New York.

Reminded me the splendid UV-sensitive wallpaper created by Front Design. The intensity of the patterns, made of shadows from ordinary objects, intensifies or decreases with the sunlight.

Among my favourite "tech" wallpapers is Rachel Wingfield's flocked wallpaper which reacts to ambient noise levels. The louder the space the brighter the wallpaper glows, bringing a surprising dimension to otherwise passive decorative materials.

The Not-So-White Walls (pictured here), by Dario Buzzini, is an interactive wallpaper that works like a display, giving you the possibility to change patterns and content as you wish. Resistors placed behind the paper surface make the color of the paper change according to your fantasy: you can dim lights, turn on home appliances, read email on the wall, view pictures taken with a camphone, etc. And if you're at the Salone del Mobile in Milan this week, you can have a try at them.

The Activity Wallpaper , by Tobias Skog, explores how a place can get an electronic "memory" of how it is inhabited: how people move around, socialize, make noise or spend time there.

Just a last one to convince you that wallpapers don't have to be boring: a Wallpaper based on NASDAQ transactions by Claude Closky .

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What about one that shows you dangerous chemical presences in your room - or carbon dioxide production; making the invisible visible? Love the display screen. With enough research (higher frame rate, colour capability etc.) it could be the next big consumer hit!

Posted by: Daniel Johnston on 14 Apr 05



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