The digital art installation redefining the workplace
Workplaces aren’t just workplaces anymore. Across the board, be it a retail environment, corporate offices or a transport hub, the spotlight is turning towards a new focus: the experience within the workplace.
No longer is the sole focus on providing simply a place to work, but on bringing mindfulness, interactivity and a sense of uniquity to the workspace. For commodity trading platform, Capital.com, this was the challenge when designing their new London office.
Believed to be one of the very first digital generative art installations of its size, Capital’s new London office reception houses an 80 square metre, ‘C-Shaped’, LED screen - but with a twist, it’s on the ceiling! Content is driven via API feeds from global trading centres and adapts in realtime to the ‘trading weather’, a series of cameras surrounding it track movement providing an extra layer of interactivity.
This allows staff to be informed and influenced by the financial world situation at a glance, combining real-world information with an artistic flair and other immersive elements.
“The project came about from a business contact of mine”, adds Dickinson, “One of his associates had a big project on the table but was struggling to find a company with the experience and ability to deliver it. We were approached as a result.”
Modus Workspace had been selected as interior designers and main contractor for the project, Arcstream, a specialist interactive technology company, were tasked to deliver the ambitious concept and to turn it into reality.
Neil Dickinson, managing director, Arcstream, explains: “We work in corporate, retail spaces, museums and more. We bring experiences to life in a way that is new and exciting, offering interaction and data capture, providing detailed customer insights to our clients.”
Fulfilling the vision of an avant-garde project such as this comes with its own challenges, namely how does a company visualise something that has never been delivered before by combining real-time data with an artistic vision, on such a huge canvas?
Dickinson explains: “One of the features of office life, particularly since lockdown, is that companies realise that they need more reasons to pull their employees back into the office. One of the ways of doing that is to have interesting experiences there to make office life more exciting, collaborative and more community-spirit minded.”
“Nobody could actually imagine the overall visual and sensory impact until it was installed. You can visualise it in designs and plans, but the emotional impact can’t be measured until it’s there in the flesh. We had a strong vision of what it would look like, but on the client side, it was more of a leap-of-faith, with the hope that what was delivered would be something that Capital would be excited about. The satisfaction came when the office went live. The dropped-jaw reactions were so gratifying - and it proved that we’d delivered something really exciting.”
Dickinson says: “Once the project was signed off, Modus coordinated everything from a build point of view, our team managed and installed all the LED hardware and back-end rack equipment, as well as an interactive digital table-tennis table and games room.”
For the LED screen itself, Arcstream turned to Leyard Europe to provide a product that would be effective at a short viewing distance and angle, Capital’s office is open 24/7, so the screen needed to offer reliability in this environment. The unusual placement and size meant the Arcstream team had to design a serviceable system whilst also considering the weight and managing the heat it generated - all in a very busy ceiling space.