Spatial Intervention

Architectural design and digital art can be a splendid combination to contrast, complement, and re-create concepts of space. Their joined forces pave the way for astonishing transformations.

»Anima Iki« (2015) is a spatial installation that reacts to its environment creating an immersive experience of light and sound.

One of many things that art and design have in common is the ability to open new perspectives. In architectural design this principle literally enters new dimensions. From large outdoor screens to spatial screen-installations and data-infused sculptures, there are endless possibilities to transform rooms, foyers or complete buildings and enhance their visual impact.

Iconic and aesthetic: digital art as a refined eye-catcher

In contrast to the rigidity of a building, digital art can add versatile aspects to the perception of space. The interplay of light, colour and motion awakens a potential to turn any building into an eye-catcher through custom-built re-creation of the spatial concept. On large outdoor screens aesthetic visuals accentuate the architecture and transform it either by elevating the original concept or by completely reviving the outer appearance. Through this digital dimension buildings are turned into iconic landmarks that draw attention and create a subtle, yet clear message.

— In contrast to the rigidity of a building, digital art can add versatile aspects to the perception of space.

»Coexist« in cultural center TX Huaihai in Shanghai: the digital screen content is picking up on urban structures in real-time.

For the commercial and cultural center TX Huaihai in Shanghai, we realized the project »Coexist«. In line with the purpose of the new venue, the project seizes the topic of urbanization and is inspired by the micro and macro structures we find in a metropolis, as well as the contrasts and changes between day and night. On a large outdoor screen and on several smaller screens inside the building, the abstract art installation gently adds lightness and playfulness to the renewed venue and elegantly integrates into the overall place. The continuously shifting visuals present the room in endless new and astonishing ways, re-creating the architectural concept.

»World of Flavours« (2019) at the McCormick headquarters in Global Valley is a site-specific installation that builds a connection between the brand and the building, while aesthetically augmenting the space.

Integrative concepts for brands and buildings

To communicate through architecture is not only relevant for cultural buildings, it can be especially valuable for corporate branding too. As brands and their messages are constantly evolving, their integration into architecture needs a flexible component.

»Collide«, a piece commissioned by Dolby Laboratories in San Francisco, shows how a site-specific installation with a complex sound setup literally transforms the appearance of a space into an instrument of brand communication. Visible from the outside through the glass facade, the indoor screen installation leaves a beautiful impression on those who pass by and evokes curiosity with its synaesthetic concept and expressive colours, complementing the building and communicating the brand message externally.

The audiovisual installation »Collide« (2016) at Dolby Laboratories in San Francisco picks up the concept of synesthesia. Its surreal visuals and mesmerizing soundscape create an immersive appearance.

How digital art can add both a visual dimension and a meaningful character to the brand image within a building is demonstrated in the IBM Watson IoT headquarters in Munich. »FLUX« is a data-driven art installation suspended in the bright and high-ceilinged lobby. The custom-built set-up, inspired by the elements of the Watson Logo, is brought to life through generative real-time visuals. It aesthetically connects IoT data collected from the building with the interior design of the headquarters and serves, both visually and with contextual reference, as an elegant tool to welcome visitors to the building – and the brand. The installation’s meaningful character and tangible content invite employees, visitors and customers to ease into engaging conversations. As an integral part of external perception, the interplay of architecture, corporate activities and digital art leaves a unique and lasting impression.

Data-driven and custom-built: »FLUX« (2017) at IBM Watson IoT headquarters in Munich adds an integrative architectural highlight transforming business data into generative real-time visuals.

A screen-based and – through the formation of screens in the space – equally sculptural brand integration on a distinct level like this requires a holistic process. From concept to implementation we worked closely together with architects, interior designers and the IBM data and design team to be able to create this consistent piece of digital art that speaks for itself.

— As an integral part of external perception, the interplay of architecture, corporate activities and digital art leaves a unique and lasting impression.

»Zephyr« (2017) at the Fairmont Hotel in Scotland: the large-scale chandelier installation is sculptural yet based on a bespoke software to add conceptual depth and a link to the coast the hotel is located.

Generative sculptures: pouring the intangible into art

Although they often are defined as opposites, digital and analogue art can enhance each other. Classic interior concepts can benefit from both technically derived input and the digital creation process as there are beautiful analogue opportunities to leave digital media behind and to enter the room as physical sculptures. »Zephyr« is a sculpture installed in the atrium of Fairmont Hotel in St. Andrews, Scotland. Inspired by nature’s forces on the coast, like wind and waves, the 60-meter installation is the largest of its kind: the final chandelier is composed of over 20.000 steel-coated discs, suspended from the ceiling with 280 individual cables. In collaboration with the team at George Singer chandeliers, the shape and composition were designed and constructed using a bespoke software tool we developed. The software simulated forms of ocean waves and wind to reflect the light shining through the glass roof of the atrium, transferring nature’s elements to the interior design through generated input.

»Thousand Rivers« is a physical interpretation of our digital installation »Meandering River« that explores the transformational character between the physical and the digital realm.

Another example of transforming digital data into physical sculpture is »Thousand Rivers«, a sculptural interpretation of »Meandering River«, our digital art installation from 2018. The same data-sets of changing riverbeds were interpreted and transferred to a physical data sculpture, leaving a completely different appearance and impact. Embracing the variety digital art has to offer, we never stop exploring environments and dimensions to find inspiration and new opportunities.

Creative research to take stories to new dimensions

To think and research across disciplines and media has always been one of our main sources for new ideas. When commissioned with a project we like to draw inspiration from new, as well as yet unknown fields to then combine our research with the task ahead; for example, transferring a brand into a spatial concept. As both architecture and digital art thrive from interdisciplinarity, they can mutually elevate each other in stunning ways, opening an endless amount of possibilities to transform spaces. With multiple disciplines comes a great need to blend the elements wisely and with expertise in order to develop the right concept. Therefore, our early involvement in the process is very fruitful as our creativity can flow freely and our broad experience can be integrated.

— As both architecture and digital art thrive from interdisciplinarity, they can mutually elevate each other in stunning ways, opening an endless amount of possibilities to transform spaces.

Experimenting with different parameters, especially when cooperating with different aspects of a brand like data source, set-up or concept, offers a large variety of possibilities to create brand sculptures.

We see the research and exploration process as an essential part of creating custom-built concepts to incorporate core values and transfer authenticity in refreshing ways. From generative, data-driven art pieces presented on ingenious screen installations to physical data sculptures that savour the possibilities of new media, the brand can be integrated into a space in numerous ways and brought closer to the observer. Be it of a room, a scene or a company, stories are mostly hiding in unexpected places, waiting to enter the stage.

— Be it of a room, a scene or a company, stories are mostly hiding in unexpected places, waiting to enter the stage.

Playing with light and grids to explore new dimensions and shapes at the intersection of the physical and the digital.


Is there a space you’d like to transform? We are keen to hear about it! Get in touch via info@onformative.com