Visitors to this year's Sochi Winter Olympics will have the opportunity to see their face rendered on the side of a building in giant mechanical polygons. The work of British architect Asif Khan, Megaface is like a cross between Mount Rushmore's sculpted facade and the pinscreens that adorned executive offices of the '90s.
170,000 faces will be rendered during the games
The installation consists of 10,000 actuators fitted with LEDs and arranged into triangles that can extend up to six feet out from the side of the building to form 3D shapes. Visitors will be invited to have their face scanned at on-site "3D photo booths" before Khan's actuators will move to form giant 500-square-foot representations of the scans. Three faces will be shown at any given time for 20 seconds, and it's estimated 170,000 faces will be rendered during the games. Visitors will also be given a link where they can watch a 20-second video showing the exact moment when their face was on the side of the building.
Megaface will comprise one side of Russian carrier Megafon's pavilion — the installation's name itself part of the massive branding exercise that is the Olympics. It's some way from completion, but Khan and Swiss firm iart, which is realizing Khan's vision, have successfully demonstrated a prototype (shown below) that uses just 1,000 actuators to render a small-scale image.