We probably all know the Rubik’s cube and I am constantly amazed at how people master the skill of solving this little puzzle in astonishing time. But this is probably the first and also biggest Rubik cube which become a part of a city landscape in the city of Linz, Austria.
For his thesis project in “Interface Culture” at the University of Arts and Industrial Design Linz, designer Javier Lloret converted the entire facade of the Ars Electronica building in Linz into an interactive Rubik’s Cube. The installation called Puzzle Facade essentially brings the experience of solving a Rubik’s cube to the urban space, inviting passers-by to engage with an interactive experience. The designer created a handheld device the mimics the function of the ubiquitous puzzle toy which then wirelessly communicates with a computer that controls the network of lights installed on the building.
The authors says:
In Puzzle Facade the player interacts with the specially designed interface-cube. The interface-cube holds electronic components to keep track of rotation and orientation.
This data is sent via Bluetooth to a computer that runs the Puzzle Facade designed software. This software changes the lights and color of the large-scale Ars Electronica’s media facade in correlation to the handheld interface-cube.
Puzzle Facade was part of the thesis of the designer at the Universität für Künstlerische und Industrielle Gestaltung Linz, Austria. Although Lloret was the primary designer for the project he relied on a huge team of people to realize the idea. You can learn much more here.
Due to the nature of this building and its surroundings, the player is only able to see two sides at the same time. This factor increases the difficulty of solving the puzzle, but as the player is able to rotate and flip the interface-cube, it is not a blocking factor.