Thousands of physical pixels turn these walls into a huge display

The scale of this project is daunting. Each of the three white walls seen in the image above is made up of thousands of oblong square blocks. The blocks move independently and turn the room into an undulating 3D display.

If it had only been the demonstration video we might have run this as a “Real or Fake” post, but we’re certain this is real. Each pixel is made of what looks like a foam block mounted on a stepper-motor-driven linear actuator. So basically this must have set the world record for the CNC machine with the most axes. The motors make for very accurate and smooth motion, and the control software lets them draw shapes, words, animated objects, and the like. But the one side effects that we absolutely adore is the sound all of these motors make when running. After the break you can see a demo video and a ‘making of’ clip.

The installation is the work of the Jonpasang art collective and is installed as a Hyundai exhibit at an expo in Korea.

Demo Video:

Making of Video:

[via Design Boom and Creative Applications]


  1. neorazz says:

    Glados approves

  2. Mr Kaizer says:

    Sounds a bit like a wind harp.
    And it’s not only the walls. There seems to be some kind of motion sensing as well. Look how the light follows the person walking through the room in the middle of the video.

  3. geonomad says:

    I can’t be the only one who wants to see Conway’s Life game on this “display”?

  4. Beat707 says:

    Ahhhhh, this is soooo coooool! :-)

  5. C. Johnson says:

    Those bastards stole my panels! Where’s my lemons!

  6. proflt says:

    I want to see Tetris!

  7. dbear says:

    Make this strong enough and in the floor too. Instant table and chairs when you need them. Need a desk? One grows out of the floor. Need shelves? They grow out of the wall.

    Cool. Lets see, how much are those stepper motors, acme screws and nuts? Come on lottery win!

    • redbat says:

      Air compressor, lots of hoses, foam blocks mounted on springs to retract in, and computer controlled air valves to push the pixel blocks out. Cheaper than all those stepper motors.

      • johnbustard says:

        Love the post and like the idea of doing a cheaper+smaller version but:
        Where do you get your cheap computer controlled air valves from that cost less than stepper motors? Can’t find any myself.

    • bemis says:

      Imagine a morphing rock climbing wall… you have to not only see the best path available, maybe even apparent patterns in the appearance/disappearance, but move quickly before it changes and your path is gone.

      To make it REALLY challenging.. no safety harness :-X

    • bemis says:

      I love that this is a car show… because frankly Hyundai cars are boring as hell so we need to do SOMETHING to get people interested :)

  8. raged says:

    I was disappointed that we didn’t see RGB color changes from inside the blocks.

  9. cBaer says:

    looks expenxive.

    lets get some hobbyservos, arduinos and cardboardboxes and build our own…..

  10. grovenstien says:

    Fucking Epic!!! Don’t normally swear to express myself, but in this instance…..

  11. dougmsbbs says:

    Nice!!!! I want my den lined with these!

  12. JAL says:

    Very cool in the same way a water printer is cool… I love the sound too, it strikes an interesting chord when they all run and reverbs nicely in the room. I wonder if they considered the sound in the planning or if that was one of those things that “just goes surprisingly right” on some builds.

    Like [raged], I too would have liked to have seen a single LED in each block or something like that. But then I don’t have any builds near about as cool so whadoIknow.

  13. Matthias says:

    Amon Tobin did the “fake” version of this absolutely gorgeously.

  14. Chell says:

    Someone said there would be cake. Where is the cake?

  15. Zs says:


  16. argh says:

    How about combining it with a projector?
    Though it would be difficult to adjust as the light beams would have to be orthogonal to the pixel-blocks to avoid distortion.

  17. theyikes says:

    AWESOME!!!!! every home should have one!!!

  18. LAN__mine says:

    Next they need to use it to make the world’s largest stepper-motor orchestra!

  19. Mythgarr says:

    Would actually be able to address a real problem in common-use concert halls. The ideal acoustics for a space are different for a violin quartet, an orchestra, and a live musical. This would be an awesome technology to allow on-the-fly changes!

  20. Hirudinea says:

    Amazing, I’m thinking a room full of columns with these blocks to make an on the fly reconfigurable life sized maze.

  21. Smilr says:

    Dr. Wily approves.

  22. Hitek146 says:

    I totally expected a face to pop out of the wall at some point.

    This is very cool, and it makes me wonder if some clever addressing mechanism coupled with a redesign of each pixel’s physical drive mech(pneumatic, hydraulic, etc.) could greatly simplify the design and build while reducing the number of moving parts…

  23. Jay says:

    I wouldn’t say the sound is a side effect, it fits perfectly.

    laughed at the “dead” pixels.

    The amount of applications for this (many already mentioned above) are amazing.

  24. Hack Man says:

    Linear actuators are

  25. ed says:

    video post of how it was made

  26. Greg says:

    reminds me a bit of the displays in Bruce Sterlings “The Difference Engine”

  27. Bahh says:

    Finally, something I can do with the stepper motors from all the old printers I have laying around.

  28. tekym says:

    Reminds me of the crossword puzzle room in the movie Toys.

  29. elwing says:


    Test Rooms!

  30. Whatnot says:

    I wonder why they didn’t fix the 2 broken ones, you’d think they had slot-in replacements.

    Maybe they didn’t pay for the extra pixel-error insurance :)

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