21 June 2014

Javier Lloret: Puzzle Facade

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Kunstuniversität Linz, 2013



“Puzzle Facade” transfers what is known as Rubik’s Cube to urban space. The facade of the Ars Electronica Center in Linz is turned into a giant Rubik’s Cube and invites passers-by to solve the puzzle through a specially designed interactive interface. The coloured surfaces on the facade change depending on how the interface is orientated and modified.The puzzle is made all the more difficult because only two sides of the facade can be viewed simultaneously due to the size and location of the building.


“Media facades are a dime a dozen. But this is different. A building that you could put in your pocket … a Rubik’s Cube, Godzilla-edition. Who would not want to be a giant and be able to move huge buildings like child’s play? ‘Puzzle Facade’ is a game on many different levels between micro and macro where the whole town can watch the players fail to solve the puzzle. Because there are few people who can rearrange the Rubik’s Cube properly without breaking it apart and reassembling it … and that would go too far.” Florian Pfeffer


We asked Javier Lloret to give a short interview about his project:


1. What do you hope people feel, experience or learn while trying to solve the “Puzzle Facade Rubik’s Cube”?


From my point of view “Puzzle Facade” has more to do about the transformation of space than about solving the puzzle. I think its large scale makes this interactive experience unique, but it can also be intimidating for some people.


2. What technical challenges did you face while working on this project?


I had to learn new skills to realise this idea. The size factor of the interface-cube was the most problematic aspect. For me it was fundamental to manage to design it in such a way that allows the participant to hold it and rotate it comfortably.


3. Have you planned more transformations into space of this kind in the future?


I don’t discard to work on other urban interventions in the future. I feel attracted to the site-specific aspect of Puzzle Facade connected with media architecture. But at the moment my practice is shifting to a kind of work less based on interactivity and playfulness and more connected with still and moving image.


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