Bodies in Motion

Merit Award 2020

Bodies in Motion is an immersive light installation created by Todd Bracher and Studio TheGreenEyl for Humanscale at Milan Design Week 2019.

The installation was inspired by Humanscale’s history as pioneers in human factors and natural ergonomics, bringing a scientific approach to furniture design. A related influence was the 1973 research of psychophysicist Gunnar Johansson, which involved placing lights on key points of the human body to highlight movement.

Humanscale creates products that support human movement. From the Freedom Chair to standing desks and task chairs, their ergonomic designs always support the human body. How do you communicate that in an interactive, playful and inspiring way at a place like Design Week Milan?

The design team found the solution to the brief in Humanscale's history, and their history in ergonomics and human factors: The scientific analysis and representation of the human body in motion as a basis for product design. TheGreenEyl’s team interpreted the 15 key nodal points that make up a human body and made them interactive in an immersive and playful light installation in a former storage space underneath the Milan main train station. The venue space spanned approximately 1,800 square feet with signage and graphics at entrance, a bespoke circular 16-foot projection screen, as well as custom software and sound design.

Situated in the warehouse of Ventura Centrale in Milan, the work features a minimal representation of the human body formed of lights that respond to the movements of visitors. As visitor's bodies are scanned, 15 motorized lights project tightly focused white beams onto a screen 15 meters away. The points of light on the screen correspond to key points of the person's body including the head, shoulders, elbows, hands, sternum, hips, knees, or feet. Each person that interacts triggers a specific visual and sound experience that is tightly synced across the two.

The project had online coverage with publications like Archi EXPO, Casacor, Colossal, Corriere Della Sera, Dezeen, MSN, SOHU, and Vanity Fair. A total of 57 online features and articles earned a readership of more than 783,874,867.  

Jury Comments: 

“This light installation has an elegant and simple motion with a strong graphic impact that creates a calm but curious mood.”

“Commonly used techniques and devices (skeletal tracking, moving head lighting, real-time motion) combined in a way I have not yet seen. Simple but highly effective, beautifully done.”

Design Firms: 

TheGreenEyl

Client: 

Humanscale

Project Area: 

1,125 sq ft

Open Date: 

April 2019

Photo Credits: 

David Zanardi (photography), Maco Film Venice (videography)

Design Team: 

Richard The, Todd Bracher (concept and design); Andreas Schmelas (technical direction); Marian Mentrup (sound design)

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