Designer Jan Edler to speak at York tomorrow on art, design and architecture

Jan Edler, the Berlin-based designer and co-head of the studio realities:united, will be a featured speaker Thursday afternoon during a special public talk co-sponsored by the Department of VisuJan Edleral Arts, the Department of Design and the Faculty of Fine Arts at York University.

Right: Jan Edler

The lecture will take place from 4:30 to 6:30pm in the Tribute Communities Recital Hall in the Accolade East Building.

Edler has been working at the intersection between art, architecture and technology since 1997. In 2000, he established his Berlin-based studio realities:united with his twin brother, Tim Edler. The studio has gained international recognition for both initiating and realizing hybrid interactive installations at an architectural and urban scale. Within that scope, the brothers’ focus of interest lies in the development of operational strategies between art, design, architecture and technological research.

“The interactive skins applied to buildings by Jan and Tim Edler in collaboration with the world’s most prominent architects demonstrate dynamic new forms of spacial communication that could soon dominate the mediascapes proliferating in urban centres around the globe,” says York design Professor Michael Longford.

Above: A video of the ornamental and granulated light and media facade for the ILUMA Urban Entertainment Centre in Singapore, designed by realities:united. The YouTube clip is part of a video documentary of the first configuration and testing program that took place in March 2009. Documentary production by autokolor with realities:united. Camera/Montage by Timm Ringewaldt and music by Daniel Dorsch.

In his talk, Edler will provide insights on past and present projects by realities:united, including the company’s successes and failures.

realities:united has produced interaction skins for buildings such as the Kunsthaus in Graz, Austria and ILUMA in Singapore, as well as media installations in Copenhagen, Seoul and New York City.

The studio has been commissioned to create an art installation for the Toronto-York Spadina Subway extension’s new Steeles West subway station. The Edlers’ concept is an installation called “Lightspell”. LightSpell is a super sculpture – a true hybrid between art installation and functional indoor lighting for the subway station. The installation consists of 62 suspended fluorescent light  chandeliers, each resembling a super-large “16-segment” display.

Above: An artist’s rendering of Lightspell. The super sculpture is the Edlers’ concept for the Steeles West station art installation

The station, designed by British “starchitect” Will Alsop, will be located just north of York University’s Keele campus and is slated to open in 2015.