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Please, Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood: Architecture and Communication

The Russian Pavilion on display at the 2012 Biennale in Venice

Architizer is hosting the world’s definitive architectural awards program, with 50+ categories and 200+ jurors. As part of an ongoing series, we’re spotlighting projects that fit into “Plus” categories, including “Communication,” that tap into topical and culturally relevant themes. To see a full list of categories and learn more about the awards, visit

Communication is key— at least that’s what any good relationship expert would tell you. Thankfully, technology is advancing at a rate greater than ever before, making it easier to communicate our ideas on a global scale. Architects and designers play an ever-increasing role in this world, developing interactive platforms that allow us to express ourselves, while also creating the structures that house the world’s data.

Of course, good communication is not always based in technology. A simple, but recognizable campaign advertised on your local street corner can have the same impact as a meticulously intricate, computer-oriented project. It has been proved time and again, whether based in real time or streaming through the pipelines of the net, our success and failures as a culture of people are closely linked to our ability to communicate. Below is our roundup of the best architecture and communication projects:

Teletech Call Center
Designed by MVRDV
Dijon, France

Converted from an existing mustard factory, the Teletech call center now accommodates more than 600 employees in a flexible workspace that promotes both work and downtime. The building’s facade is wrapped in QR Code prints that direct phone users to current trends and events. Read more about this project on Architizer.


Prineville Data Center for Facebook
Designed by Sheehan Partners
Prineville, Oregon

Solving the problem of energy-hogging facilities, the new “green” Facebook data center in central Oregon funnels exterior air into the server cabinets and eventually dissipating back outside, reducing heat. In addition to the facility’s courtyard, all work spaces feature multi-directional natural light— a rarity in traditional data center design. Read more about this project on Architizer.



Hyper-Matrix Cube Wall
Created by JônPaSang

Part of the Hyundai Motor Group pavilion at the 2012 Yeosu EXPO Exhibition, the Hyper-Matrix Cube Wall served as the perfect canvas for that pavilion’s stream of video projections, creating a multi-dimensional advertorial exchange. The interactive wall was created out of a massive grid of white styrofoam cubes, each approximately 1 foot x 1 foot in size, moving in and out to form patterns and various impressions on the surface of the wall. Read more about this installation on Architizer.


TXTual Healing
Created by Paul Notzold
New York-based artist Paul Notzold’s traveling, interactive urban installation allowed the artist to explore what happens when text messages become a public act. As a part of the installation, text bubble frames are projected onto walls along with images. Passersby send text messages to a projected number, and these messages are then cycled through the text bubbles. Read more about this installation on Architizer.


Russian Pavilion
Curated by Sergei Tchoban and Sergey Kuznetsov of SPEECH Tchoban & Kuznetsov
Venice, Italy

As a part of this year’s Biennale in Venice, the Russian pavilion created a futuristic environment, complete with floor-to-ceiling QR code adornment. As a part of the pavilion, visitors were invited to use tablets to decode the interiors and explore ideas for a new Russian city dedicated to science. Read more about this project here.


Vehicle-To-Vehicle Communication
U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)
Ann Arbor, Michigan

The NHTSA launched a $25 million pilot program in Ann Arbor, Michigan, allowing drivers to send and receive messages from nearby cars. Three thousand cars were outfitted with new technology, including a sensor that sends around 10 messages per second to cars within several hundred feet. Read more about this project here.


Created by Pentagram
New York City, New York

Working with the New York City Department of Transportation, Pentagram (the world’s largest independent design consultancy) created a simple campaign to aid pedestrian safety. Appearing on city streets, the “LOOK!” symbol reminds pedestrians and drivers to look before entering crosswalks and intersections. Read more about this project here.


Dynamic Performance of Nature
Designed by Brian Brush and Yong Ju Lee
Salt Lake City, Utah

Located at The Leonardo (an art, science, and technology museum), the project is an interactive, real-time communicator of global environmental information via a dynamic interface embedded in the material of the wall. The color spectrum flowing through the wall reflects real-time temperatures; the speed of color flow shows actual wind speed; the direction of color flow indicates the direction of the wind with cardinal directions oriented to the sides of the wall. Read more about this project here on Architizer.


Google Data Center
Dalles, Oregon

With locations spread across the globe, each Google center still manages to maintains an identity of its own. The Dalles, Oregon, facility sports a colorful piping system that fundamentally alters the interiors, electrifying an admittedly stale visual sequences of steel supports. Read more about this project on Architizer.


Pole Dance
Designed by SO-IL
Long Island City, New York

The 11th winner of MoMA P.S. 1’s Young Architects Program, SO-IL’s Pole Dance installation featured a temporary space complete with bungees, 25-foot-tall poles, hammocks, and even rain collection plants. Visitors to the exhibit were able to access a mobile app that allowed them to control various elements within the courtyard. Read more about the project here.

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