innovision was engaged by Siemens to develop the creative content for ‘The Wings’ sculptures, created by Daniel Libeskind in association with the global electronics giant for Expo 2015 in Milan, Italy. Spanning 10m by 10m and weighing in at 14 tonnes, the monumental installations anchored the four corners of the Expo’s central promenade – the Piazza Italia. innovision was tasked with turning two of The Wings into ‘smart’ sculptures to convey Siemens’ core messaging in a creative, innovative and engaging way, and to encourage an emotional connection between the architectural sculptures and visitors to the Expo. To further extend and enhance the experience around The Wings, a digital narrative was also required.
At dusk during Autumn and Winter months, hundreds of thousands of starlings take to the air, forming huge clouds that move together in unison to transform the skies. This acrobatic mass – known as ‘murmuration’ – served as our creative inspiration for The Wings. Through the integrated concept of design and technology, we devised a creative solution which recreated this wild spectacle in digital form. Using leading-edge LED technology (5,000 RGB dots per sculpture), we created a display surface on each of The Wings, which then served as a canvas on which to show a sequence of dedicated abstract video content.
Art as a language
Our digital sequencing centred on murmuration as a visual metaphor for the way in which Siemens’ innovation and thought leadership is responding to global mega-trends and serving as a catalyst that will improve the future of our daily lives. Unlike the natural phenomenon, this murmuration was formed of data. Using the abstract flight of birds to evoke each of Siemens’ key themes, a link was forged between nature, culture and technology. As dusk descended on the Piazza Italia, The Wings came alive with digital murmuration…
Augmenting the experience
To enhance the communication experience, innovision designed and developed an engaging and fully immersive app for iOS and Android. The Siemens ‘Smart EXPedition’ app allowed users to view a ‘digital murmuration’ of data through an Augmented Reality (AR) view, providing Expo visitors with a totally unique and enhanced view of the physical space in the Piazza. Also visible through an AR view were a series of waypoints, allowing users to locate areas of interest and highlighting where Siemens technology was being used around the Expo site. For added engagement, users of the App could also take a ‘data selfie’. We also developed a dynamic, fully responsive and localised microsite with visually led, succinct content on the AR activation and further information about Siemens’ products.
More than 20 million people from 144 countries passed through the Expo during its 5-month run (1 May – 31 October). The Wings sat at the beating heart of the 1 million square-metre site, bringing to life the Piazza Italia and immersing passers-by in their rhythmic flow of pulsating patterns and imagery. Our creative approach did not render The Wings mere billboards; instead, we succeeded in uniting Siemens’ technological innovation and Libeskind’s extraordinary architectural creations in an artistically suggestive way, which remained sympathetic and complementary throughout.
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