Thursday Salute to Originals: Unlocking QR Codes for New Russian City Design

The Russian Pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale feels like a scene out of a science fiction movie. With QR codes pasted over nearly every inch of surface in the pavilion space, users scan the surfaces with a computer tablet, unlocking the QR codes to launch snippets of information about the construction of a new Russian city.

Russian Pavilion at Venice Architecture Biennale 2012 QR Code Wall Surfaces

The Skolkovo science and technology centre, located just outside of Moscow, is being designed by the architectural teams of Pierre de Meuron, Rem Koolhaas, and Kazuyo Sejima. The “science city” will bring together advanced technology and energy companies from distinct fields of science into a single community.

QR Codes on Russian Pavilion Walls Architectural Design

The pavilion design attempts to “find an architecture metaphor for connecting the real and the virtual. People today live at the intersection of on- and off-line; ‘our common ground’ is becoming a cipher for infinite mental spaces.” In this constructed representation, the user and his or her instrument are the vehicles for decoding (transforming) a mere black and white surface pattern into digital space and information.  Poignantly, the experience of the pavilion is dependent on an interface with humanity, the technology cannot stand alone – perhaps a reflection of emerging views of the scientific process?

QR Code Tablet User Interface at Russian Pavilion

We work with backlit surfaces day in and day out, and this particular installation has refueled our creative juices when imagining surface possibilities.  We salute the originality in this wall surface design that becomes an integral link in a systematic yet highly interpretative experience.

Image credits: Dezeen