Northside Beacons 2018, Denmark, Aarhus


How do you promote our transition to a circular economy through the use of Media Architecture? Northside Beacons is a recent example of a global trend, using experiences to nudge people into a more sustainable behaviour.

At Northside Festival 2018 all plastic trash is collected and reused. This year plastic plates made from last year’s recycled beer glasses were collected at a special collection station connected to a large lighting installation. When users deposited a plate into the recycling station, they were rewarded with light pulses through sixteen large beacons, spanning the entire 160 metres of the festival grounds. The aim was to nudge more users into sorting and recycling materials. THE BEACONS The beacons consisted of a wooden base with a bench and translucent tops containing individually controllable LED’s. All of them controlled by Kollision’s MAP software connected to IR-sensors inside the collection station. When not activated by users, the entire installation functioned as subtly glowing, wayfinding beacons for people trying to locate each other at the festival grounds. OUR ROLE Kollision developed the concept together with representatives from Northside and Down the Drain Productions, who also built the towers. We handled lighting design, sensor interaction and programming. LEDs were provided and installed by Martin by HARMAN. Video footage and editing was done by Allan Toft.


Building or project owner : Down the Drain Production / Northside Festival

Architecture : Down the Drain Production / Kollision

Project artist/ concept/ design/ planning : Kollision / Down the Drain Production

Structural engineering : n/a

Facade design : n/a

Facade construction : n/a

Kinetic engineering : n/a

Light design : Kollision

Technical layout light : Kollision / Martin by Harman

Display content/ visuals/ showreel : Kollision

Light hardware (LED hardware) : Martin by Harman

Lighting control software : Kollision

Project co-ordination : Kollision / Down the Drain Production / Martin by Harman

Membrane skin : n/a

Interaction design/ programming : Kollision

Project sponsor/ support : Martin by Harman


Participatory architecture & urban interaction

Community or communities involved : Festival-goers at Northside 2018.

Host organization : Northside 2018 / Down the Drain Production

Legal form : n/a

Issues addressed : Using experience design as a reward to get users to deposit recyclable trash into specific stations instead of leaving it on the ground or putting it into normal trash cans.

Impact : It was a prototypical setup involving just one station, so this years impact was relatively small. We're working on a larger scale implementation for next year's festival.

Tools developed : Bespoke sensors and sensor integration with Kollisions MAP-software (Media Architecture Platform).

Tools used : MAP - Media Architecture Platform.

Next steps : Developing a more integrated system for promoting a circular approach to waste collection at Northside 2019.


Photo by Allan Toft

Photo by Allan Toft

Photo by Allan Toft

Photo by Allan Toft

Movie by Allan Toft