"The impulses for the form and color of the light come from the Fraunhofer Institutes themselves", explains Annette Sauermann. "The artworks radiate such vibrancy because they reflect the intensity of the data traffic at any given moment in the computer networks within the institutes. Even the selection of the light scenes is controlled by data traffic. This means that the internal activities of those in the institute are visible in abstract form to those outside." The more information is exchanged electronically in the institutes in one day, the more brightly and more dynamically the "Knowledge Networks" will radiate light.
The artist made a conscious decision to focus on the topic of networks: Fraunhofer employees network among themselves – across institutes and with partners from industry and research. In so doing, they create a web of connections which is in a constant state of flux.
In the eye of the onlooker, the "Building Art", a pulsating and vibrant image incorporating light, color and shape, conjures up the notion of laser beams and the movement characteristics of material removal and grinding processes on one hand, whilst on the other, it is reminiscent of a neural network. The glass surfaces of the facades have been treated in such a way as to ensure that the graphics continue to be impressive even when it is no longer dark: even in daylight the play between sunlight and shade produces a continuous flow of changing images.
Light is not only the subject originally explored by Joseph von Fraunhofer, the namesake of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. It also stands for the two Aachen institutes at the center of a number of research projects and collaborative industrial ventures - and now leads the way for visitors and guests to the RWTH Aachen campus.