Innovation Clock

Submitted by Eric Gunther

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Project

Client: BioMed Realty

Location: Cambridge, United States

Completion date: 2015

Project Team

Artist

Eric Gunther

Sosolimited

Client

Sal Zinno

BioMed Realty

Overview

The Innovation Clock is a data-driven installation that visualizes the social media conversation around innovation in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Using language analysis algorithms, the piece perpetually listens to and translates Twitter conversations into animated patterns of light at multiple architectural scales.

Tweets and emerging themes are dynamically arranged into bold typographic posters on an LED wall. The history of the conversation is encoded into pulsing grids of light on the facade of the building. Synchronous sequences of movement play out across the display surfaces, transforming the building into a social media powered timepiece.

Goals

Our client wanted to brand their new building as a hub of innovation in Kendall Square, Cambridge. They also had a dynamic lighting system installed on the facade of the building, and wanted us to create an artwork that made use of it. We created a piece that is always automatically refreshing itself with new and relevant content, keeping residents in the building informed about the local network of ideas and events. The work celebrates community members’ voices, and provides an eye-catching canvas for their conversation.

Process

Sosolimited proposed the idea of a social media-driven lighting system. When we started the project, the lobby design was complete. We worked with BioMed Realty to design and position an LED wall in the space, and to add supporting power and data infrastructure during the build phase. Sosolimited worked with BioMed Realty to craft the narrative of the piece around innovation, and created a software system that could monitor Twitter, format text, and tap into the facade lighting grid of the building. We engaged Design Communication Ltd. to help us fabricate and install the custom LED wall.