Above, six lanes of traffic roar along the Paris ring road, the Boulevard Périphérique, day and night; the road beneath the bridge that features the interactive lighting installation, is the link between two Paris Expo exhibition halls.
The system behind this project involved a number of creative high-tech thinkers. The traffic is monitored using two dedicated video cameras, which stream their video feeds to a media server that uses special software to analyse the speed and density of the traffic moving in both directions, generating real-time patterns which are then mapped to the luminaires. The specially developed software features a self-learning tracking algorithm that detects and processes the type, position and velocity of vehicles on the road. Prior to that, numerous videos are made of the traffic in motion and thousands of images extracted to serve as a basis. The highly original composition of sensors, cameras, server and network, together with the processing of all the information collected, which enables dynamic coloured light to express the traffic situation, that is to say a reflection of the life in a specific part of the French capital, in real time. Rows of two media tubes mounted in parallel stand for the traffic lanes above; touches of magenta coloured light can be seen on the north side and orange coloured light on the south side, indicating the sides of the Boulevard Périphérique.
The project reveals a high degree of technical intelligence and creative interaction design, and demonstrates how much modern lighting installations can achieve. The movement of classic urban traffic above is transformed directly into a series of real-time ephemeral light sequences in the underpass below using an intelligent sensor system. The higher the traffic load, the more lively the light becomes. Almost incidentally, the underpass turns into an overwhelming aesthetic experience – definitely one worth seeing for real.
Lighting design: Seulsoleil
Interactive content: Visible
Lighting control: LightAct
Lighting fixtures: Traxon
On-site logistics/support: Epic Lighting
products applied: 126 x Traxon media tubes; 6 x Traxon e:cue Video Micro Converters; 1 x reActor X1