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Canvas

Canvas is a digital artwork that utilizes custom software to create abstract color compositions derived from the daily motion of the city.

The algorithm analyzes each video for paths of motion, so moments like a person walking, or a car driving become the ‘brushstrokes’ that slowly create each abstraction, and as each video collides with the next, new compositions unfold in real time, allowing the city to paint pictures of itself.

Intentionally referencing the tradition of abstract painting, the artwork has the ability to generate more than 5,000 unique compositions from nearly 5 hours of initial footage specially shot at 16 locations within the River North neighborhood – reflecting the flow of people, traffic, trains, the river that borders it, and the sky above it.

Designed by ESI Design, Canvas is permanently installed at 515 North State Street, Chicago (USA).  It was selected as a winner of a 2018 Good Design Award.

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900 N Michigan Shops

JMB Realty Corporation invited ESI Design to create an experience for their Magnificent Mile luxury retail center that would attract customers and entice target retailers. It was my job to lead the design team and envision a way to transform this Chicago landmark while still aligning with their brand identity.

The concept was a series of digital skylights, that, when viewed all together, create a 190 foot long media ceiling that appears to open and close, revealing 16k treetop views and hundreds of 3D birds flocking in real-time.  Video content was shot with dual sync’d 8k cameras to create super high resolution video content to make the most of this unique canvas.  As well as delivering a platform to which the client could continue to upload new video content, we also designed a suite of content creation tools and a user-friendly CMS so that new animations could quickly and easily be generated by the real-time software environment developed by Float4.

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Wells Fargo Center

The Wells Fargo Center, designed by Philip Johnson in 1983, is an iconic part of the Denver skyline. In my role with ESI Design I led the team to reimagine the entry experience.

Five separate columns of LED work together to create one monumental display that is 26 meters tall. Fluid patterns of nature flow down the vast atrium wall, creating an intentional contrast to the static of the stone. Ink drops, filmed in super slow motion at 1000 frames per second pour vivid color into the room, and then at other times thousands of small landscape images are tiled together to create epic mosaics of the Rocky Mountains.  A flock of 3,500 3D animated birds swirls and disperses in real-time, independently deciding on its own flocking behaviors at 60 frames per second, based on algorithmic rules of logic.

The vibrant media installation is visible from outside through the glass atrium, breathing new life into the surrounding streetscape and drawing passersby into the experience. The Denver Post called it the city’s “biggest piece of public art.”

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85 Broad Street

As you enter the building, you walk through a monumental LED arch wrapped in geometric animations and real-time social media visualizations.

Related media content appears at the end of each elevator bay, on transparent LCD screens which are mounted over three dimensional, custom made relief maps. The corridor follows the original path of the street that once ran through what is now the footprint of the building and a low resolution media / light installation curves along it’s entire length, connecting the two entrances and referencing the sky that would have once been directly above.

A light installation spiraling through the building’s exterior arcade features light bars and reflective blades that alternate and twist, featuring a program of many different abstract patterns.

I was the Lead Designer for the team from ESI Design who conceived and designed all the interventions.

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eBay Main Street

eBay asked ESI Design to design the experience for an entire new building – the new front door to their San Jose, California campus. I had the responsibility of leading the design of all the digital elements, which ranged from a huge, multi-surface LED display to a multi-touch, multi user data visualization.

After months of research and conversations with different teams within eBay, we found the data and the stories that we needed to set up a series of digital moments that incrementally increased in scale as you progress further into the building, including structural columns that became storytelling surfaces and shoppable screens.

Designed by ESI Design.

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221 Main Street

A continuous ribbon of imagery and light connects the interior of the building at 221 Main St, San Francisco with the street outside.

A 125 feet long media surface rises up the rear wall of the lobby, continues onto the ceiling and then flows all the way out until it folds up onto the front facade. We used three different resolutions of LED technology for the three different surfaces, and designed media that would resolve into one fluid, continuous image.  Acid-etched diffusion glass placed at specifically varied distances from the different LED arrays resolves the different image surfaces.

I led the design team from ESI Design who conceived and designed the project.

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1 Cal Plaza

An illuminated surface that extends back and folds down the wall… changing color in real-time along with the position of the sun in the sky.  A suite of digital photo galleries that each feature the curated work of Instagram’s most stylish California talent.  An ultra high resolution print sliced onto the glass fins of the curtain wall, a composite print of the view from the top of this skyscraper – one timescape image that starts at sunrise and finishes after dark.

I led the team from ESI Design that conceived and designed these interventions.

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180 N LaSalle St

In the neoclassical lobby of a Chicago office building, ESI Design created a media experience that amplifies the architecture. Lively projections appear on the upper wall surround, inviting tenants and visitors into a new relationship with the space. The templates visualize sets of live data such as weather measurements, local Instagrams and current news trends, as well as pre-produced media such as birds in trees and local scenes of L trains and Wrigley Field.

ESI delivered an advanced system of 13 synchronized HD projectors (hidden in a new lighting soffit) to create the seamless and highly visible canvas, mapped precisely to the defining gestural edges of the upper walls. The projections command the attention and delight of those inside and out.

I led the design of all the real-time, software generated media content.

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177 Huntington Ave

A 100 feet wide light wall that responds dynamically to temperature and wind data, and is permanently integrated into the lobby of a landmark I M Pei building in Boston, for Beacon Capital Partners.

Custom LED fixtures, designed by the ESI Design team and hidden within brushed steel housing, shine backwards onto the lobby wall, illuminating the concrete surface of the building itself, and creating shifting, ambient patterns of light that play across the entire length of the space.

In the elevator bay, a highly customized LED array provides a more informational counterpoint to the ambient light wall.  Eleven high-resolution, 22 feet tall by 6 inch wide LED strips extend from the floor up to the full height of the ceiling. Working together as one single dispersed display, these narrow bands of media show data visualizations and local information.

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DC Commission on the Arts

The Washington DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities approached Obscura Digital to design and produce a custom, interactive experience to allow the public to browse and explore their portfolio of site-specific public art projects.

In my role as Creative Director for Obscura, I conceived and outlined the design for the project, and then led the team through the process of realizing it.

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