data-driven art installation


The picture of urbanization is painted by contrasts and complexity. Inspired by the friction of structure and void, of light and shadow, of day and night, variations of grids and colorful lights are playfully alternating to create an immersive interpretation of new urban perspectives.

For the commercial and cultural center TX Huaihai in Shanghai, onformative was invited to develop permanent digital art content, picking up on the topic of urbanization. »CX-Shanghai« aesthetically adopts the prevailing contrasts found in the city from a macro and micro perspective into a playful complexity of light and shadow, day and night, void and abundance, structure and formlessness.

From a bird’s eye view of the city, complex patterns start to emerge and horizontally draw an infrastructure of quarters, streets and blocks of houses. Taking a closer look, similar structures can be found in architecture, facades and materials at a smaller scale. Inspired by the growing city, the artwork picks up on these structures to interpret them in a dynamic digital art installation.

To authentically transfer the vibes and shapes of the ever changing city to the visuals, location-based city data is analyzed in real-time to generate the structure of the generative artwork.

By drawing information from different locations the visuals are continuously altering in their composition and mood, representing the endless variety of the city itself.

Picking up the most significant contrast found in the appearance of a city, the transformation from day to night, the artwork adapts accordingly with different looks, adding depth to its complexity. The same structures and patterns that are generated during the day reappear differently in a vibrant night mode – dipped into ambient lights inspired by urban media facades and colorful neon lights.

Resembling the constantly changing shapes, structures and patterns found in the city, the artwork is intelligently creating new looks, playfully drawn and inspired by the complexity and transformation found in the city data. Underpinned with a bespoke sound design, developed in collaboration with kling klang klong, the installation invites the observer to immerse into the abstracted interpretation of the city, shown on a number of screens inside and outside the cultural and commercial center TX Huaihai.

Cast shadows depict a connecting element between architecture and the digital artwork – blending into the building through the interplay of daylight and shadows.

Underlying the narrative of urbanization, the final outcome of the work is an aesthetic interpretation of the ever changing structures, colors and shapes found in the city, aligning with the initial inspiration of the urban landscape and buildings shown above.


  • Client: TX Huaihai Center in Shanghai
  • Creative Direction: Cedric Kiefer
  • Production: Tobias Ziegler
  • Code & Design: Manolo Gamboa Naon, Norman Wassmuth, Andy Duboc, Kjetil Golid
  • Sound: kling klang klong
  • Photography: Anthony Reed