Client: City of Louisville
Location: Louisville, Kentucky, United States
Completion date: 2014
Artwork budget: $5,000
ReSurfaced is a temporary initiative to illustrate the economic potential and benefit of incrementally activating currently unproductive spaces while creating a more vibrant downtown that can more quickly realize our city’s latent potential.
The idea focuses on the city as the ultimate user interface, where the residents can enjoy a unique event space curated by some of the most creative minds in our community. ReSurfaced on Main activated a 14,000 square foot vacant lot in downtown Louisville for 6 weeks.
As the IxDA Louisville leader and senior designer for mad*pow, I wanted to leverage mad*pow's place as a leader in designing for health. What better way is there to promote health than to get people away from their devices and interacting with the world around them? Our laser gaming installation was designed to get people of all ages moving; to remove inhibitions and encourage playfulness. With a limited budget we went for the highest impact solution for the lowest cost. Using a kinect and a high powered laser we designed a traditional arcade cabinet & users were able to select from 3 options on the cabinet. Body controlled laser puppets, pong & a Supergirl that flew across the wall. The laser gaming system took ReSurfaced from an awesome event space to an awesome event space with body controlled lasers projected 200 feet across the interior wall. People had never seen anything like it. Kids would line up to play while we were setting up; it integrated extremely well with the DJ's and the bands and even the Louisville ballet came by for laser ballerinas! It was successful in showing the city what is possible when art & technology intersect.
IxDA and mad*pow organized the kickoff workshop with City Collaborative where we invited our creative community to brainstorm ideas. That workshop, combined with the efforts of the organizers in spreading the word; successfully generated interest and support from the press and local government. We had a very small core team and only two months to organize, fundraise, clean, build and promote the 14,000 square foot pop-up beer garden and event space. Out of pure necessity, we adopted a lean approach to our project planning as City Collaborative focused on the site buildout and critical needs. We all reached out to local art groups and musicians to assist in organizing events and our team focused on the technology integration. We shopped, we did community workshops at LVL1 Hackerspace where we tested ideas & games with members & kids and we built a laser gaming arcade cabinet. It was truly a team effort. Our team consisted of an interactive designer who was the fundraiser, artist & organizer, an interactive developer who pitched and developed the laser gaming system and a handful of makers who helped build the cabinet and assisted in setting up at ReSurfaced.
For us, ReSurfaced was truly a culmination of passions. We took our love of gaming, of making, of experience design, of tactical urbanism, of encouraging movement through playfulness, of cross-disciplinary collaboration... and we made something inspiring.