In the installation ‘28 houses’ each member state of the EU is represented by a profile of a house. As each country is different so is each profile. Light is used to symbolise friendship between the countries as the lights are ‘turned on’ when a visitor enters each house to make him/her feel welcome. As a visitor walks away from a profile it’s corresponding light dims interactively challenging people to play with the installation.
A visitor can enter the houses from either side of the installation. As they walk through the installation a light above them changes from a slightly dimmed blue color to white and increases its brightness. The more visitors that enter the installation the brighter the light! When the structure is empty it will glow blue after a little while, saddened by the fact that there are no visitors, yet…
Friendship between the EU members and between their inhabitants is the main theme of 28 Houses. As each unique profile represents a EU member country they all form part of one bigger house. The light hanging from above is a symbol of this friendship. The technology used is very simple but invites children and adults to play with the installation. Because of its open structure the project can be enjoyed from within but as well from a distance.
The elevated walkway is modular and made of standard podium elements (2000x1000x480mm). The house profiles are made of square hollow aluminum tubes of 50x50mm (2mm thickness). These profiles are powder coated or painted white.
To make production/ assembly fast and easy each house profile is made of three parts (two vertical sides and the roof shape that is different for each profile.
To secure the vertical elements to the stage on site they are slid and screwed into square profiles fixed underneath the podium elements (50x50mm opening, 300mm deep). The top part (welded together in the workshop) is then screwed to the vertical elements also on site.
Light and Electronics
Each profile has a ‘Sensorlight’. Each detect movement individually and fade into a bright light during a couple of seconds when movement is detected. Without activity the lights returns into a slightly dimmed blue/purple light ‘sparkling’ sequence.
To make the Sensorlights simple and cheap Printed Circuit Boards (fitted with LED’s and a movement sensor) are used instead of Arduino’s. These are placed inside simple plastic semitransparent containers suspended by electrical wire leading from a central transformer through each profile.