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VolvoxLab's Super-Connected Highly-Configurable dd OUTPOST

dd:OUTPOST _ Personalized Environment We created a fully integrated, personalized visual system built from the ground up, including projection mapping on geometrically faceted bar, programmed user-interactive LED wall, an interface that pulls in real-time Twitter and Instagram feeds, that users can control interactively. The whole system is situated within a functional and modular interior design.
VolvoxLabs [VVOX]

We spoke to VVOX Co-founder, Kamil Nawratil about a new media project involving lumens, data, physical architecture and some seriously agile thinking recently produced by the team for client Digital Dumbo, a collective of startup and local businesses based in Brooklyn's DUMBO district. We wrote about the Brooklyn-based VVOX not so long ago when Kamil's graduate work at the School of Visual Arts—SVA, in New York The Perception of Consequence (which included masterful constructions both virtual and physical) caused quite a stir.

We weren't the only ones to find relevance in the team's latest achievement and to think it even precedent-setting. In a world or connected people, places, and things where work, play, and colaborating in 'blended', data-enhanced environments are vital to productivity, VVOX's interpretation of what that space can be is well-considered and adroitly implemented.

Peter Kirn at CDM puts it well in his article Not Just Mapping, Reshaping: VVOX on Projection for Personalizing Architecture, Space:

"Light on its own can be a powerful medium for transforming a space. When that light is formed into an image, the customization is as fluid as pixels on a display. So, there’s a reason we hear terms like “responsive architecture” or even “interactive architecture.” We may see environments become as changing as the computer before our eyes. The question is, how, exactly?"

Is this the Future of NYC Coworking? posits a Fast Company article published earlier this week:

In New York City, coworking spaces are coveted and pricey, especially as they evolve more and more appealing features like classes, meetups, talks, and parties. General Assembly, WeWork, and 3rd Ward have blazed a trail--but none of them have established a model quite like Digital Dumbo’s Outpost space.

“Instead of traditional architecture, we want a space conducive to showcase digital work,” says DD CEO Andrew Zarick. There are no fixed desks--instead, chairs and tables stow neatly in wall compartments. The center of the fractal projection screen folds up, revealing a bar for evening and catered events. Next to table and seat storage are twin roll-out screens for more intimate display than the massive screens. USB and HDMI hookups to the window-covering secondary projector screen allow anyone to walk up and hook up a device to the Windows 8-integrated system, which is also linked to an Xbox with a full suite of media apps, and content can be synced to display across all screens simultaneously.

Relevant, interesting -- necessary. Following the 'before and after' images is what Kamil had to say about the project, their role and ideas and how TouchDesigner was used. Enjoy.

Digital Dumbo is an organization based here in DUMBO, Brooklyn bringing together all the tech startups and entrepreneurs in the area. DD started off with 50 members and are now 13K-strong, international and growing. Microsoft Bing is now their main sponsor who help make Re_imagined space come to reality.

When DD realized they needed a co-working space that would also serve as an event space, the stars, as you would say, aligned for VVOX and DD. We met Andrew, CEO of DD through our agency rep. We all thought going in was that it would be a small gig—simple A/V solution, plug-n-play. Upon meeting with Andrew to present our ideas, he was more than enthusiastic to push our 'big' vision forward. Andrew was very much interested in the modularity of space and creating a powerful A/V system.

Working closely with our architect, Miron, we set out to create a seamless connection between the functional, the physical, and the ephemeral. What you see is a fully modular design with an AV system running completely on TouchDesigner. Everything in the space is connected, inclusive and modular: folding chairs are stowed away within the fabricated wall; tables on casters roll-n-out of the wall as well. We also built custom TV stands which can be easily merged into the fabricated wall, and pulled out to be placed anywhere in the space for a more personalized presentation.

Experience of the space can be manipulated in so many configurations that each visit, meeting and interaction with the space is different. We created special buttons on the TouchDesigner interface to help visitors select individualized options. Visitors can also connect to any device via DLNA or AIRstream so its fully adapted.

The projection mapping on the bar pod has two functional modes. First, is an ambient pattern which plays with the bar pods. The second is an option we created that allows anyone to drop in their content to be presented on the pod in addition to the main projection screen.

TouchDesigner pulls in in latest #digitaldumbo instagrams and tweets to the interface that can also be projected onto the pod. The LEDs are also driven with TouchDesigner and DMX. We definitely spent too much time on a ladder soldering and installing the LED wall.

Similar to the bar pod, we programmed the LED wall to function in three modes to work in sync with the bar pod projection: ambient, with random clips generated in TouchDesigner so it is always different; solid where visitors can pick their color and set the 'mood'; and last, Interactive, where the LED lights up in response to people's movement via Kinect sensors.

So this small idea became something much, much bigger! It was definitely one of those passion projects where we spent quite a bit of time exercising our skills, while learning and discovering new tricks in TouchDesigner. DD has always been supportive and excited throughout the project. Really big thanks to our team, Andrew and Bing!

More here at VolvoxLabs