Alibaba Interactive Mural

Submitted by Nicole Pannuzzo

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Client: Alibaba

Location: Sunnyvale, CA, United States

Completion date: 2020

Project Team

Design, Fabrication, and installation

Ferran Torras

Wall and Wall

Project Management, Fabrication and installation

Nicole Pannuzzo

Wall and Wall

Client

Stephanie Chan

Alibaba

CNC cuts

Trevor Sell

Plotwork Studios

Technology programming

Osman Koç

Osman Koç Studio

Overview

This interactive mural, created for Alibaba, in Sunnyvale is a case study on the impact of art and technology in the retail industry. Using light and sound, we are able to bring to life the painted objects in an innovative and playful way, and retailers are able to collect insightful data as to what product customers engage with most and which products they want to learn more about. With the use of Bare Conductive technology, our team of artists and collaborators pre-fabricated this 8’x10′ mural, painted with conductive paint and acrylic paint, and transported it to Sunnyvale where it was permanently installed in the Alibaba technology lab.

Goals

Shopping is a multi-sensory experience, especially in offline shopping. Many shopping malls in Hong Kong and throughout China, have turned to technology to enliven the experience of in-person shoppers. However, the large digitals screens and overwhelming graphics have become too digital and impersonal. Our aim is to incorporate technology in a user-friendly manner that provides a more tactile experience. As Wall and Wall approached the design phase, there were several key aspects that we wanted to convey through the art piece. When choosing the interactive elements in the mural, we wanted to pick product categories that are popular and common throughout all malls, but that are generic enough that could be expanded for specific brands. We chose to go with clothing, shoes, beauty, baby/kids, accessories, home decor, and pets as our focused categories.

Process

There were a lot of collaborators to bring this project to life. First and foremost, we worked with the Alibaba team during the design phase, to nail down the appropriate product categories and interactions. For fabrication, we worked with our technology specialist Osman Koç as well as our friends at Plotwork Studio for the custom cutouts. With the use of Bare Conductive technology, we are able to put this piece together in a more efficient and more affordable way.