About the Institute

The Media Architecture Institute is a non-profit organisation designed to complement the work of established universities and research institutions with a flexible but very focused research activity linking industry, education and academia together.

Founded in fall 2009 by Dr Gernot Tscherteu, Dr Oliver Schürer, DI Wolfgang Leeb and Dr Martin Tomitsch, the Institute continues the work of the Media Architecture Group that co-organised the Media Architecture Conference London 2007 and the Media Facades Festival Berlin 2008 – in particular the conference and the exhibition.

In 2010 the Media Architecture Institute organised the Media Facades Summit 2010 in Frankfurt and the Media Architecture Biennale 2010 in Vienna.

In 2011 the Media Architecture Institute was expanded from its European base in Vienna to a second office in Sydney where Dr M. Hank Haeusler and Dr Martin Tomitsch are responsible for the Australasian region. Vienna remained responsible for the European / American region with Ben Stricker and Tobias Ebsen joining the Institute in 2012.

In April 2012 the Media Architecture Institute organised the 2nd Media Facades Summit 2012 in Frankfurt as part of the Light and Building Exhibition hosted at the Städelschule. In November 2012 the Institute together with Aarhus University’s CAVI organised the Media Architecture Biennale 2012 in Aarhus.

These events where followed by the Media Facades Summit 2013 in Hong Kong, the Media Facades Summit 2014 in Frankfurt and again in Aarhus the Media Architecture Biennale 2014. In 2015 the institute opened a third office in Beijing with Prof. Chang Zhigang responsible as director for the MAI China branch. MAI China was officially announced at the Media Architecture Summit 2015 in Beijing.


Director Europe
Dr Gernot Tscherteu, interaction designer and researcher at realitylab.at. With a background in political science, Tscherteu has worked for the Austrian Academy of Science, University of Applied Arts, ZKM Karlsruhe, and the Vienna Museumsquarter. Tscherteu has curated numerous events in the field of media facades and media architecture. [more]

Director Australia
Dr Martin Tomitsch, Associate Professor in Design and Head of the Design Lab, an interdisciplinary research group within the Faculty of Architecture, Design and Planning at the University of Sydney. His work was shown at several exhibitions and festivals, including Vivid Sydney. He is the author of two books and over 90 research articles. Martin is general co-chair of the Media Architecture Biennale 2016 in Sydney. [more]

Deputy Director Australia
Dr M. Hank Haeusler, senior lecturer in the School of Architecture at the University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia. Haeusler is known as a researcher, educator, entrepreneur and designer in media architecture, digital technology, interaction design and ubiquitous computing and author of four books, several book chapters and conference papers. Hank is general co-chair of the Media Architecture Biennale 2016 in Sydney. [more]

Director China
Professor Chang Zhigang, PhD, Architecture school of Tsinghua University, Beijing. Teaching and research in lighting design and architecture design. Professor and vice dean of Architecture school, China Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing. Member of China Green Building and Energy Saving Committee; Member of editorial committee of China Architecture Education; Member of editorial committee of China Illuminating Engineering Journal; Member of editorial committee of Professional Lighting Design – Chinese Version; Member of Chinese Artists Association; Member of the council of China Illuminating Engineering Society; Project evaluation expert of The National Natural Science Foundation of China.

Director North America
Dr. Dave Colangelo is Professor and Academic Coordinator of the Bachelor of Digital Experience Design program in the School of Design at George Brown College. He holds an MA in Cultural Studies from Goldsmiths College, University of London and a PhD in Communication and Culture from Ryerson and York Universities. His research and writing is centred upon the impact of digital media on art, curation, architecture, and scholarship. Colangelo’s writing has appeared in Public Art Dialogue and The Journal of Curatorial Studies. His work as a media artist (with Public Visualization Studio), working primarily with interactive, large-scale public projections, urban screens, and media architecture, has been presented at the International Symposium for Electronic Art (Istanbul 2011, Sydney 2013, Vancouver 2015), the Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism in Shenzhen/Hong Kong (2013-14), and in the Leonardo Electronic Almanac. [more]


Members (in alphabetical order):

Dr Martin Brynskov, associate professor in interaction technologies and director of Digital Design Lab at Aarhus University, Denmark, general chair of the Media Architecture Biennale 2012 and 2014. He has lead large-scale urban interaction design projects with artists and cities since 2007 as part of Center for Advanced Visualization and Interaction (CAVI), Digital Urban Living (DUL) and the Participatory IT Centre (PIT). Martin has a Ph.D. from the Center for Interactive Spaces, Computer Science, Aarhus University, an M.A. in Information Studies, and also holds a degree in Classical Greek. [more]

Juan C. Carvajal B., studied architecture at the National University of Colombia and the Technical University of Vienna. Since 2006 he began to explore the relation between architecture, digital media and urban space. He participated in 2009 in the Ars Electronica festival in Linz with the installation called Loom. With the project cicloscopio he won a Jury-award in the Velo-city cicling visionary awards 2013. He has been selected as finalist for the Paseo project (Zaragoza) competitions of 2012 and 2013. [more]

Dr. Fatah gen. Schieck, Ava, is a researcher, architect and educator. She is Associate Professor in Media Architecture and Urban Digital Interaction at the Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London where she is the director of the ‘Architectural Space and Commutation’ PhD program, and the Departmental Tutor for the ‘Digital Theory’ PhD Program. The main focus of Ava’s research is in the area of Architecture, Interaction Design (AR, MR and Ubiquitous Computing) that she has developed since 2001 through the research and teaching positions she held at The Bartlett (UCL). Through the studios she leads; the ‘Body as Interface’ and the ‘City as Interface’ on the MSc Architectural Commutation, UCL. Ava is a program chair for the Media Architecture Biennale (2012, 14, 16, 18 and 2020). She serves on numerous Interaction Design, Media, Architecture and HCI international conference programme committees and is a member Placemaking Leadership Council (US).

Dr Andrew Vande Moere, is an Associate Professor in Emergent Technologies and Design and co-director of the research group Research[x]Design at KU Leuven university in Belgium. He is a former Senior Lecturer at the Design Lab of The University of Sydney. His research focuses on how the quality of media architecture can be better described and evaluated, and how its dynamic and interactive features could lead to more meaningful and potentially measurable notions of wellbeing. He also investigates the use of interactive public displays and urban visualisations to engage citizens in participatory civic activities. [more]

Dr. Martijn de Waal is a writer and researcher with an interest in new media & public space. He is currently working as a professor (lector) at the Lectorate of Play and Civic Media at the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences. During 2018 he functioned as the head of research for the faculty of Digital Media and Creative Industries at that university. Formerly he worked as an assistant professor in Media Studies at the University of Amsterdam. He holds a PhD from the University of Groningen, where he was a member of the research group of practical philosophy, and the digital media & urban public space programme. In 2009 he spent a semester as a visiting scholar at the M.I.T. Center for Civic Media.

Dr Alexander Wiethoff, lecturer and researcher at the University of Munich (LMU). His experience includes long term professional consulting activities combined with various educational and research activities on media architecture. His professional industrial experience in the areas of interaction design has been gained as an employee and consultant, which has included work for various fortune 500 clients. Alexander holds a a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Munich (Ger), an M.A. in Interaction Design from the Interaction Design Institute Ivrea, Milan (I) and a B.A. in space&designstrategies from the University of Art and Industrial Design, Linz (A). [more]

Industry and Creative Partners:

Dr Tobias Ebsen, researcher, designer and artist working with media art installations. Since 2008 he has produced and co-produced a number of installations and experimental prototypes that explore the potentials of digital technology in public space. He received a PhD from Aarhus University and currently works at as interaction designer at YOKE ApS. [more]

DI Wolfgang Leeb, architect and architectural photographer, working with Gernot Tscherteu since 2002. As a trained architect with construction experience he is responsible for the techinical parts. Research on mediafacades, concepts for facade solutions and exhibition design are his focuses within the MAI collective. [more]

Ben Stricker M.A., worked as an independent event designer mostly for clubs and consumer events in Germany. Since 2008 he worked on technical innovations in the field of media architecture and developed an innovative LED lamp for which he received an award from Zumtobel Lighting GmbH. Stricker worked on media facade projects in Europe and Australia always combining practice with research. [more]


Members (in alphabetical order):

Dr Luke Hespanhol is a media artist, researcher, lecturer, interaction designer and software developer based in Sydney, Australia. His practice investigates the potential of media art to create engaging experiences that lead to reflection on the relationship between individuals and the immediate environment around them. He has explored these possibilities of public expression through the development of interactive media installations for academic research, galleries and public art festivals, including multiple editions of Vivid Sydney. Luke holds a PhD from the Design Lab, University of Sydney, researching interactive media architecture and the user-centred design of hybrid urban environments. He is a former guest researcher at the Department of Aesthetics and Communication at Aarhus University, Denmark, and resident at the Ars Electronica Futurelab in Linz, Austria. [more]

Industry and Creative Partners:

Glenn Harding, as Managing Director of Urban Screen Productions, Glenn’s interest in Urban Screens, Media Architecture and Digital Placemaking began when he was engaged to draft the original multimedia strategy for Federation Square in Melbourne for the launch of the new precinct in 2005. More recently Glenn has facilitated the installation and then overseen the management of permanent cultural screens and digital signage solutions at The Perth Cultural Centre, The Concourse Precinct in Chatswood, Civic Square in Canberra, The Arts Centre Melbourne and Canberra Theatre Centre. [more]

Emma Shearman, Operations Director Urban Screen Productions. Emma has a diverse professional background with experience in LED screen and media technologies, advertising, marketing, digital production, event management and business operations with advanced skills in policy, strategy and process development. Emma was responsible for the management of all multimedia operations and curation at Federation Square for Urban Screen Productions. [more]

North America

Members (in alphabetical order):

Dr. Annie Dell’Aria is an Assistant Professor of Art History at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. Her research concerns the intersection of contemporary art, moving image media, and public space. Her writings have appeared in International Journal of Performance Arts and Digital Media, Public Art Dialogue, Moving Image Review and Art Journal (MIRAJ), Millennium Film Journal, and other venues. She is currently writing a book on public art and the moving image and holds a BA from Harvard University and a PhD from The Graduate Center of the City University of New York (CUNY).

Zach Melzer is a doctoral candidate in Film & Moving Image Studies at Concordia University. His research combines media studies with architecture and urban studies in order to investigate the regulations and infrastructures of moving image technologies and cultures in Piccadilly Circus (London), Times Square (NYC), Yonge-Dundas Square (Toronto), and Quartier des Spectacles (Montréal). His work is published or forthcoming in Canadian Journal of Film Studies, Écranosphère, Synoptique: An Online Journal of Film and Moving Image Studies, and The Routledge Companion to Urban Media and Communication. Previous participation with MAI: Programme Committee Member, MAB 18

Jeff Schnabel is an Associate Professor in the School of Architecture at Portland State University. His activities in and out of the classroom are focused on making the public realm successful after dark. Jeff is a co-founder of the Portland Winter Light Festival and a Board Member of the Willamette Light Brigade, a non-profit dedicated to lighting Portland’s bridges. Jeff is also a member of the International Nighttime Design Initiative. As a Van Evera Bailey Fellowship recipient, Jeff investigated light festivals in Europe and North America.

Industry and Creative Partners:

Nina Colosi is the founder and creative director of Streaming Museum launched in 2008 as a collaborative public art experiment to produce and present programs of art, innovation and world affairs. Exhibitions and multi-disciplinary programs have reached millions on seven continents in public spaces, at cultural and commercial centers and StreamingMuseum.org. Following her early career as an award-winning electronic music composer she produced/curated new media exhibitions internationally, directed The Project Room for New Media and Performing Arts at Chelsea Art Museum, NY, and produced a series at Google headquarters NY.

Susanne Seitinger leads public sector marketing in the United States for Signify formerly known as Philips Lighting. She works with civic leaders to develop smart cities that leverage digital lighting for safe, inviting and responsive urban environments. Since joining Philips in 2012, she has worked on key projects from relighting the Zakim Bridge in Boston to Internet of Things projects for Los Angeles. Susanne is a sought after speaker and commentator on the future of light and Smart Cities. She also serves on the Illuminating Engineering Society Board of Directors. Susanne received a BA from Princeton University as well as a Master’s in City Planning and a PhD from MIT. Her dissertation Liberated Pixels: Alternative Narratives for Lighting Future Cities explored the aesthetic and interactive potential for future lighting and display infrastructures. Previous participation with MAI: Urban Pixels. Exhibition, Architecture Media Biennale. Künstlerhaus k/haus, Vienna, Austria (October 7-31, 2010). Keynote speech, Media Architecture Biennale (Sydney, Australia, June 4, 2016). Frequent peer-reviewer for the research panels and contributions


Industry and Creative Partners:

Shanti Chang Fangrou focuses on the art of illumination culture and multi-disciplinary innovation and design, creative supply and technology coordination, including the city’s illumination culture, the integration of the Internet and urban public spaces and media architecture since 2015, she was the director of the center of StrongLED&CAFA (Suzhou) Media Architecture Art Industry and Research Institute Practice Base. Coordinator within Central Academy of Fine Arts since 2017 managing international media architecture projects of CAFA Visual Art Innovation Institute, responsible for promoting and organization in MAB18 international Media Architecture Biennale.


Petra Hendrich, studied architecture at the Technical University of Vienna and sociology at the University of Vienna. She is also a trained mediator. Her master thesis focused on cohousing projects in Vienna. Since 2010 she works for realitylab, where she collaboratively works with people in the field of housing and urban development. Her focus lies on the development and moderation of social structures within groups of residents, that want to develop a co-housing project together. She also helps to implement organisational structures within existing communities. Since 2010 she also supports the MAI on an organisational level. Moreover she contributes her knowledge of social processes and design to MAI research projects.

About Media Architecture

Our work can be found where architecture and urbanism meets digital media.

Media Architectures grow at the intersection of physical and digital space and need a form of understanding that is beyond traditional architecture and media art/design as it brings up entirely genuine challenges and opportunities. This intersection is steadily growing and produces a number of artefacts that can be combined in many ways. Just to name a few:

  • Media Facades
  • Mobile Applications
  • Social Media
  • Location based services
  • Urban Screens
  • Responsive Environments

Media Architectures mostly consist out of several of these components, which are steadily modified. The pioneers of this field contributed new components (like advanced pixels) or new forms of interaction and have been able to create entirely new media formats for the urban space. Generally innovation within Media Architecture takes place on different levels: new hardware (like façade systems), new applications (like mobile games) and new architectural forms; but the biggest innovation lies in the combination of already existing technologies (like LED displays and social media) and in the creation of interfaces between them. We have expressed our ideas and understanding of Media Architecture and Media Facades in several books and publications in an academic and popular context. Please refer to the publication site of this homepage to get an extensive overview of our work.

About our Contribution

The Media Architecture Institute wants to contribute to this new field on several levels:

  1. First of all we want to continue our efforts in promoting the discourse around Media Architecture by organising conferences, workshops and exhibitions that gather people with different backgrounds and raise the public awareness for it.
  2. As all of us participated in research projects with a strong relation to Media Architecture we want to build a platform for specific research dedicated to:
    • the development of interfaces between key technologies in the field
    • facade prototypes and prototypical applications and media formats and
    • technology assessment.
  3. We offer our know-how and experience as well as our network to
    organisations and individuals that intend to realise projects within the
    area of Media Architecture – as well as to municipalities and other
    organisations that need consultancy for regulation and administration.

In the same way as media architectures require multidisciplinary teams of architects, designers, media experts, programmers and many more, we at the Media Architecture Institute also try to transcend boundaries and try to develop the right and innovative tools, technologies and methods to contribute in an appropriate way.

For requests about the institute please contact: ask@mediaarchitecture.org

The Institute is registered in Austria:

Postal address

Media Architecture Institute Vienna
Gisela-Legath-Gasse 5/1
1220 Vienna Austria
Email: ask@mediaarchitecture.org
Website: www.mediaarchitecture.org
ZVR 501926485
UID: ATU69058814

Media Architecture Institute Sydney
1502/355 Kent Street
Sydney NSW 2000

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Site management by Wolfgang Leeb / Juan C. Carvajal B.