~ Prism// Keiichi Matsuda at the V&A// London Design Festival

Thanks to Keiichi Matsuda for the tour of his installation 'Prism' at the V&A over the weekend. Everyone is talking about the installation sponsored by Veuve Clicquot which combines digital technology with craft. 
The installation combines Keiichi's architectural training with an interest in digital media and having also had first hand experience making washi paper, it seems a logical culmination of these diverse elements.
Photo © London Design Journal
Photo © London Design Journal
 'Prism' is constructed from aluminium frames with washi paper screens mapping out areas that are projected into using 5 projectors, like a large faceted jewel. All the elements had to be winched up into the cupola of the V&A - an area not previously accessed by visitors to the v&A.
Photo © London Design Journal
Photo © London Design Journal
The 'Prism' structure is amazingly not fixed into the V&A building structure, but rather wedged between the buttresses, and suspended from above, blending into the background.
Information from around London is gathered and projected onto the washi paper screens ( selected for their strength & translucency) and the data refreshes every 15mins. The types of information displayed come from diverse areas such as how much energy 10 Downing Street it using, to how many Boris bikes are being used. 
Photo © London Design Journal
In the words of the designer:
Prism presents an alternative view of London, exposing unseen data flows in the capital. Gazing into it, we can discern the shadows of data, but are locked out from full understanding. Data sucked from the city flickers across its skin, sometimes in a form that is legible to us, but often in inexplicable and seemingly uncoordinated ways.
 

As machine languages and processes start to replace human ones as dominant forces in the city, we must re-examine our urban landscape as a new, unexplored terrain. This is not a project about the politics of data visualisation, but rather an investigation into urban informatics, and our relationship with data itself.


Keiichi Matsuda