Merck, OledWorks, OPVIUS, and Kolon Unveil OLED Textile Design Concept for Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism

Merck KGaA of Darmstadt, Germany, a science and technology company, and its partners Kolon, OPVIUS, and OledWorks revealed a new textile façade concept. The new design concept combines OPV (organic photovoltaics) and OLED technologies.
The company unveiled the design at the first Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism, an exhibition in Seoul, South Korea from September 1 to November 5.

For the Seoul Biennale, German architects Nikolaus Hirsch and Michel Müller worked with New York-based Thai artist Rirkrit Tiravanija to develop a new building element for their ongoing “The Land” project. The new façade system will produce energy from organic photovoltaics. Then it will emit light utilizing OLED technology.

Four-meter long bamboo tubes suspend the shingle-like façade concept. According to the designers, the tubes symbolize oriental elegance, simplicity, and integrity.

The project will be showcased at several exhibits and exhibitions including at diverse sites including the Seoul Biennale in 2017, the Luminale exhibition in Frankfurt, Germany, in 2018, the Bau exhibition in Munich, Germany, and then on to Merck KGaA in Darmstadt, Germany.

The end of its journey will be at “The Land” near Chiangmai, Thailand, where the prototype is to be scaled up into a larger version to act a the façade for a 400 m² building for research and workshops.

The installation will be in a public space in Seoul to ensure that it is directly accessible to a large number of citizens and visitors.
The work titled, “Do We Dream Under The Same Sky” by Thai artist Rirkrit Tiravanija espouses a universal and global culture and promotes a practice of sharing, togetherness, experimentation, and exchange.

David Müller, global head of marketing photovoltaics at Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, explained, “From the grand success of OPV Trees at the MILAN Expo 2015 to our joint work with the Harvard Graduate School of Design in 2015, our collaboration with our valuable long-term partners OledWorks, OPVIUS and Kolon continues to yield exciting results.”

Martina Hueber, Head of Global Operative Marketing OLED at Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, added that, “Our material solutions show the capability to combine innovative technologies, transform architecture and extend the realm of possibilities.”

“We are very pleased that OPV from Kolon and Opvius – the latter also responsible for the system design – has been introduced to the public through this exciting project. It demonstrates the powerful effect of the combination between technology, aesthetic and artistic elements, and we have confirmed the possibility of applying next-generation OPV to building materials,” said Dr. Tae-Hwan Ahn, Senior Vice President of Kolon Industries.

David DeJoy, OLEDWorks CEO and co-founder commented, “The OLED panels blur the line between light engine and light fixture, providing simplicity in integration of light with a myriad of construction materials. This is beautifully revealed in Hirsch, Muller and Tiravanija’s stunning design.”

Merck partners, architects Nikolaus Hirsch and Michel Müller commented, “The act of building is the result of a collaborative process. Yet, paradoxically, it is still broadly assumed that the complex entity of a building is hidden behind the unifying language conceived by a single author (usually the architect). Do We Dream Under The Same Sky can be seen as a manifesto for the opposite approach: a new façade system of organic photovoltaics and organic light-emitting diodes that tells the story of material development as a true collaboration between engineers, scientists, architects, and artists.”

Luxeon Color