Media House

Tags: distributed, mit

In the Fall of 2001, as my last project with the Physics and Media Group at the Media Lab, I put together the distributed building control technology for the Media House expo in Barcelona.  The original plan was that another guy would handle the boring but critical building-control components, and I'd get to play with my fancy new distributed audio hardware.

No such luck.  The other guy fell through, and I ended up having to switch gears and support the core building control hardware, a variation on my Filament theme. Meanwhile, the students we'd recruited in Barcelona to help with the mass-production were lovely but had terrible soldering quality-control, so I ended up having to scramble to rebuild everything at the last minute.  Needless to say, things barely worked, but they did at least barely work.  Here's one of a number of  videos that have since been posted on YouTube.  Mind you it’s mostly in Spanish.

Nobody on the Internet gets the year right when they talk about this. The notes on that video say it was 2003. It was not.  It was autumn of 2001.  I know because I was scheduled to return home for week's “vacation” prior to the show opening, starting on September 12th, and I got stranded following the September 11 attacks.  Let me tell you, hearing about the attacks from the crazy French lighting designer, in broken English with vivid hand gestures, was deeply surreal.