POSTED ON 27/06/2016

A mesmerising 136 metre interactive LED sculpture inspired by a strand of digital data captured the imagination of delegates at the recent Adobe Summit 2016 EMEA held at ICC ExCel London, Europe’s largest digital marketing conference.

The playful sculpture, which was specially commissioned for Adobe’s 2-day digital Summit (11-12 May 2016), was a true creative collaboration; developed from an idea by lead event agency Taylor Bennett Partners and realised by the team here at Hawthorn, who worked alongside interactive architectural lighting design specialists, Cinimod to bring Taylor Bennett’s vision to life.

5,000 delegates entering the conference registration and exhibition area encountered the colourful overhead installation upon arrival. Floating above them were 609 individually controllable and pixel mapped 400mm square LED cubes - custom created, programmed and installed by ourselves - which intriguingly snaked their way through the exhibition space, through the social zone, to the Adobe exhibition stand, where delegates found the interactive element of the sculpture.

With a brief to create a clean and discreet installation, we engineered a solution to meet the brightness requirements of the cubes whilst allowing us to use very thin cables, giving the illusion that they were floating in mid-air, whilst in reality they were flown on 78 custom metal frames.

Designed to encourage live audience participation, the interactive control system for the cubes, developed by Cinimod from Taylor Bennett Partners vision, used a camera to recognise body movements of those in front of an LED screen. Participants were able to play with and control the cubes on screen, throwing them upwards to join the physical structure, with the chromatic cubes progressing down the full length of the sculpture. To complete the installation we included an LED floor to create a sense of complete immersion in the sculpture. Accompanying audio for the installation was created North v South.

Russell Bennett, Partner at Taylor Bennett Partners, said: ‘We’re always looking for new ways to immerse, engage and excite delegates and aim to create memorable new Adobe experiences each and every time. This time, we wanted to create something beautiful, intriguing and relevant, as well as downright cool, to lead the way to the Adobe stand at the very heart of the space.

‘I had an idea to create an interactive sculpture that resonated with a string of digital data and sent a CAD drawing of the idea to Pete at Hawthorn to have a chew on. Pete’s the guy who brings my ideas to life and I know once I’ve sent something to him, he’ll rise to the creative challenge and find a way to make it happen. 

‘It was amazing to see delegates engage and play with the sculpture and it certainly added a new dimension to the Summit experience.’

Pete Harding, Director at Hawthorn, commented: ‘Working with Russell, and the team on the Adobe Summit is always relentlessly fun and exciting and here at Hawthorn, we loved the unique technical challenge of creating an immense sculpture from scratch. I see my role as ‘dream realisation’; essentially bringing ideas to life by getting creative with technology to deliver amazing experiences.

‘It was also fantastic to work collaboratively with teams like the guys at Cinimod on the sculpture, combining our expertise to create something truly special.’

Dominic Harris, Director at Cinimod, said: "The interactive installation was immersive, and achieved a great level of participation from the delegates who were truly engaged by the 3D video, interactive audio, and lighting show. The project served as a great example of how collaborations between like-minded companies from different disciplines can work together to realise awe-inspiring installations - in this case the fruitful collaboration between Cinimod Studio, Hawthorn, Taylor Bennett Partners and North v South."