La Porte des Savoirs


The research-by-design project La Porte des Savoirs addresses fundamental issues of our information age and provides an embodied experience of immersion into information flow. And it questions, moreover, the possibility of physical immersion into text, per se an intellectual and abstract medium.

To create a powerful setup, the information display extends over the entire space available on site, thus bringing the body in direct relation with the text flow. Through size, speed and movement of the information flow and the direct visual and physical contact of the observer with the text a bodily relation between message sent and receiver is established. In terms of spatial perception, this relation is brought to its radical consequence in that any vertical spatial boundary is dissolved. In a kaleidoscope where only horizontals remain as signs of stability and support, the bands of text travel through an endless space mirroring itself in reflecting surfaces on the floor, ceiling and wall.

Ultimately, La Porte des Savoirs plays on the dichotomy between the content of the information, and its aesthetic dimension: on the visual appearance of text. Being immersed in the aesthetic and spatial dimension of these flows of information does not guarantee immersion in their content: such immersion remains entirely the work of one’s imagination.

team: Dieter Dietz, Rudi Nieveen, Guillaume Othenin-Girard, ALICE EPFL
interaction design: Nicolas Henchoz, Thibault Brevet, EPFL + ECAL LAB

photographs © Joël Tettamanti
all images courtesy of EPFL+ECAL LAB / ALICE studio EPFL

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Master, Spring
Architecture, Experimentation, Technology
CC BY Licence