Connected Plaza - San Jose Plug-In-Play
Connected Plaza - San Jose Plug-In-Play
Connected Plaza - San Jose Plug-In-Play

Connected Plaza - San Jose Plug-In-Play

James and Joshua over at the Rockwell Group labs are getting some recognition in this years IxDAwards for their Plug-In-Play project installed in late 2010 at Richard Meier's San Jose City Hall.


The project functioned via "stations" placed throughout the plaza function where visitors could sing into a megaphone, skip on a hopscotch court, or connect to the projection via typically social networks like Twitter. Each of these areas of interactions prompts a reaction on the buildings projected facade in hopes of suggesting a "new type of environment wherein social interactions, citizenship, and personal activities are more dynamically reflected"


Project Background:


"The conceptual origins for Plug-in-Play cover a broad span of architectural and technical innovation. The title of the piece is itself a direct reference to Peter Cook’s Plug-in-City (1964), a theoretical and all-encompassing urban framework that emphasized flexibility and impermanence through the application of a computer-directed “feedback loop.”


Today, Cook’s emphasis on cybernetic exchange in cyberspace as a method of “plugging in” to the physical world is reflected in computer encoding concepts such as the “Internet of Things,” wherein the networked connection of 

everyday objects allows urban inhabitants to connect to or even correct their physical surroundings. Plug-in-Play seeks to demonstrate the interconnectedness of the people and things through play, social media, and human interaction."



Technologies used in the project:

  • arduino
  • processing
  • after effects scripting
  • openframework
  • sxbee wireless transmiters
  • glsl
  • c++
"The LAB wrote custom software in openFrameworks, C++, and GLSL for the projected content, and used Processing to develop software for interfacing with the sensor network. The sensors were created using’s Arduino Fio, XBee wireless transmiters, and an Arduino shield that the LAB developed based on Adafruit’s Wave Shield."
Image Credits: Rockwell Group Labs
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