Emoji Architecture

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In June, Artist Jennifer Wen Ma and lighting designer Zheng Jianwei used clever data mining technology to transform Beijing’s former Olympic swimming venue, the Water Cube, into a lovely responsive installation. “Nature and Man in Rhapsody of Light at the Water Cube” was rigged to display the I Ching and mood of the city each day, displaying as the artist said, “how we are all cells in this society, but we are interconnected.” Each day was first assigned an element by an I Ching master (heaven, water, earth, fire, etc), with a corresponding color and pattern. Then, emoji was collected from what was posted to a Chinese microblogging site, which shifted and altered the patterns and intensity of color on the building based on what emotions were trending, showing a beautiful representation of resident’s moods.

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