The Spine at Emory Health Sciences Research Building - CODAworx

The Spine at Emory Health Sciences Research Building

Client: Emory University School of Medicine

Location: Atlanta, GA, United States

Completion date: 2023

Project Team

Creative Director

Mark Schmitz


Design Director

Amy Beyler


New Media Director

Chris Moore


Architectural Firm



The Spine is a spectacular LIVE science visualization system spanning six floors and compiling over 60 vertical feet of high-resolution LED panels.

Signature-designed software pulls in data from lab spaces throughout the facility and converts them to data-driven 3D digital art pieces for all in the building to experience. A prominent floor-to-ceiling digital screen on each floor interprets and displays the lab data in a different dynamic design. The 3D visual content has no end and constantly changes.

Up close, these abstract organic images transport the mind to pause, invite new thought patterns, and inspire creativity throughout the day. From afar, the result is a “spine” of generative art created from Emory research labs seen from multiple views within the stunning atrium.


Research environments require the utmost level of design and art integration to celebrate human scientific achievement in their labs and facilities. The goal of The Spine was to celebrate the wonderous art of science happening in real-time throughout this research lab.

ZEBRADOG was chosen by HOK to be the architectural firm’s Experience Design Consultant creating several interactive and experiential design installations for Emory University’s Health Sciences Research Building (HSRB). One of the most advanced and sustainable buildings of our time, the 350,000-square-foot facility provides state-of-the-art collaboration and lab space for over 1,200 biomedical researchers.

Experiential programs designed and developed by ZEBRADOG spark creativity, community, and innovation through digital media.


As a trusted Experience Design Consultant for HOK, ZEBRADOG approached this project with a unique design solution so media integration aligned harmoniously with the architecture.

The firm helped to identify and validate impactful zones for generative art, interactive media, donor recognition, and engaging community-building experiences.

ZEBRADOG's experiential designers found a unique relationship between the Scientific Process and Creative Thinking to create distinct experiential spaces that bolster this synergy.

- The Spine was designed to Observe & Provoke.
- The Nexus embraced Questions & Curiosity.
- The WonderWall explores Predictions & Vision.
- The Granting Garden celebrates Experiment & Create.
- The InfoCores invites Analyze & Reflect.

These complex media installations were designed and prototyped to help everyone understand the size, functionality, content strategy, and specifications. ZEBRADOG's proven approach to the content editorial process guides the client and architectural team to launch and ongoing content management.

Four years in the making, it’s the ultimate digital experience in Georgia’s largest health sciences research building beautifully integrated into the masterful architectural design of HOK.

Additional Information

1) THE SPINE (featured) 2) THE WONDERWALL is a 28-foot-tall large format digital video and light installation that shares stories on health science discoveries, global impact, and the significant outcomes of Emory research. The scale and prominence of the university’s mission in action inspire awe to stimulate exploration. 3) THE NEXUS promotes curiosity and stimulates cross-functional problem-solving. Strategically located at a high-traffic crossroads, this massive interactive portal (11’ wide x 8’ tall) invited the scientific community to share literate commentary, research tactics, and to engage in a daily created common dialogue from handheld devices. 4) INFOCORES present scientific hypotheses and show a “lab poster” style process for every working lab in the building allowing researchers to share their findings within the science community. By reinventing the academic poster process into an interactive media experience these six InfoCores provide timely access and widespread sharing within the research community to foster evaluation, analysis, reflection, and conversation. 5) THE GRANTING GARDEN offers a peaceful, contemplative place to recognize the significant philanthropy supporting HSRB research to advance global human health inspired by the nearby Lullwater Preserve.