MegaFaces: Massive Display Enables 3D Selfies at Sochi

MegaFaces Sochi LED 1

Giant faces measuring 25 feet in height emerge in three dimensions from an ‘architectural Mount Rushmore’ at the entrance of Sochi’s Olympic Park. ‘MegaFaces’ is an interactive installation by architect Asif Khan consisting of a fabric pavilion that is manipulated into the shape of visitors’ faces by 11,000 actuators located just under the cube’s stretchy membrane.

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Three visitors at a time enter a booth located inside the pavilion to have their faces digitally scanned and displayed on a massive scale for everyone outside to marvel at. Each face is magnified by 3500%. The effect is that of a giant pinscreen, but it’s technically the world’s first “three dimensionally actuated large-scale LED screen.”

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The 11,000 actuators that create the images are tipped with translucent spheres containing RGB-LED lights, so a combination of physical movement and light intensity creates the pinscreen effect. The idea is that anyone can “become a hero,” reflected to the world on a large scale.

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“Whether we are taking a self-portrait and posting it for our friends to see, or texting an emoticon to show how we feel, we’ve translated a fundamental means of self-expression into a new medium,” says Khan. “That is why I think of this pavilion as a synergy between architecture and digital platform. At the same time it’s a monument to all of us. The concept is to make people the face of the Olympics.”