The new InterActiveCorp headquarters in Manhattan, designed by Frank Gehry, contains one of the world’s largest high-resolution video walls. It serves not only as a brand canvas for the Internet commerce company, but has also become a creative destination in its own right.
Trollback + Company was faced with several challenges on the project. First was the challenge of creating inspiring and appealing visuals that could serve as subtle but strong marketing tools for IAC. The solution consists of 10 thematic, brand-specific modules incorporating a range of 2D, 3D, and live-action elements. For example, to showcase the company’s dating websites, such as Match.com, Trollback created an “I Date” module that features the primary icon of romance in a sensual time-lapse sequence of a flower opening. The “I Connect” module (for urban-search websites such as CitySearch) is treated as bits of information, showing data converging into images of city destinations. The “I Explore” module integrates a live RSS feed from Ask.com, while “I Experience” covers Tickemaster.com via a daily XML feed programmed to visualize the movement of current music events across the U.S.
Technical challenges included providing high-resolution imagery for the massive 120-ft.-long by 11-ft.-high wall. For example, the flowers opening in the “I Date” module could not be shot at such high resolution, but were instead created using time-lapse photography. Some elements had to be done in CGI for the same reasons.
Final file dimensions were 12,912 by 1,200 pixels, rendered out in nine pieces to meet the requirements of the custom projection system. The system includes 18 projectors rotated 90 degrees and seamlessly blended by a Spider system; nine computers feed two projectors in-sync via Watchout software.
To emphasize the public nature of the wall, two time-keeping modules use innovative graphics to represent the progression of time. In one, graphic bars animate across the length of the wall. In the other, type moves across the wall spelling out time and date and uses relative positions to animate the progression.
“This digital canvas is both a beautiful tribute to IAC’s brands and an intriguing barometer of IAC’s global community. Particularly of note are the transparent approach to technology and a cinematic aspect ratio that help to animate the space and entertain, while remaining true to the brand.”
Jakob Trollbäck, Joe Wright (principals in charge); Tolga Yildiz, Lloyd Alvarez (designers)
Special Branch (computer-generated imagery), Feedtank (programming), Ted Kinsman Photography (time-lapse photography)
Warren Z Productions (software), McCann Systems (projection)