I'm a Digital Media Specialist at The University of Melbourne and Science Gallery Melbourne. I have a keen interest in investigating democratic use of technology in public space. I conduct design research to uncover the design parameters that stimulate activation, participation and engagement with technology, particularly media architecture and immersive interactive spaces.
In this paper, we investigate the contextual characteristics of media architecture - parameters that impact its integration in the existing social fabric - from a socio-demographic (environment), technical (content) and architectural (carrier) perspective. Our analysis draws upon four real-world examples of media architecture, which have been specifically chosen to demonstrate a prototypical range of context-related symptoms, including a deliberate case of vandalism, the disconnection of a building-wide lighting installation, or the inappropriate integration of a screen on an existing architectural facade. In spite of its intrinsic 'dynamic' character, we conclude that media architecture seems not well prepared to adequately respond to changes in its context over time. As a result, we propose a set of guidelines that target all relevant stakeholders, ranging from architectural designers to content managers and public authorities, in an aim to improve media architecture's acceptance and credibility, towards its long-term sustainability in our urban fabric.