SYdney, Australia / Seattle, UNited States

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The end result is an 8’ x 20’ digital art wall consisting of eight asymmetrically staggered LCD displays surrounded by frosted glass panels, backlit by LEDs.  An infrared camera, located on the opposite wall, tracks the movements of each passersby while interactive programming translates motion into a visual effect. As viewers interact with the artwork they reveal images and colors as patterns coalesce. With a single gesture they cause flowers to bloom and particles to disperse by revealing new colors and layers.  As content spreads like pools of paint off the high resolution LCD display screens and the lower resolution LED areas of the canvas, content is sharpened and softened respectively. The experience invites the viewer to virtually “paint” with their own gestures and explore the endless variations they can create.

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To spearhead the creative process for an Interactive Art Wall for Royal Caribbean's Ovation of the Seas cruise ship, our team conducted a kickoff workshop in London that would lay the groundwork for the creative process and inform the shape and content of this unique interactive experience.

Emphasis on the horizontal motion of the flow of traffic through this primary corridor of the ships main atrium became a focused element from the workshop. The animated content was inspired by rich symbolism particular to the cultures in the geographic areas where the ship would eventually be traversing. The ship, destined for China in the summer months and Australia in the winter months, featured content of cherry blossoms floating in water, sea anemones from the Great Barrier Reef, and dot patterns inspired by traditional Aboriginal art.

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True to the tenants of our studio, this project embraces the convergence of architectural design and the integration of digital media. The permanent and the temporary intertwined.

Our team oversaw the construction process and a full scale mockup of the entire installation facilitated by PBD in Avon. This installation strategy was modular and low-impact, enabling a quick and efficient installation process onboard the ship while at drydock in Papenburg, Germany. Our crew of installers, graphic artists and programmers executed the entire project within one week in March of 2016.

Because we were unable to conduct “field measurements” before installation, we had to design the wall with the built-in capacity to adapt to varying installation circumstances while still achieving extremely precise tolerances. This wall is designed to be entirely front serviceable, allowing easy access for any required maintenance throughout the wall’s lifetime.

The ship’s maiden voyage took place on April 14, 2016, to the United States, Australia, and China.