Matthew Gamlen
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Design Week PDX - Better Together

Design Week Portland is a weeklong series of events, installations, and conversations showcasing the evolving state of design in Portland, Oregon. Each year, the city-wide convergence of creatives from every discipline inspires a wave of collaboration, education, and community building. 

At Cinco, we set out to create an event that would require us to work in a fully integrated process across all of the studio’s disciplines. The result was a captivating experience that blended a great party with an interactive installation of sound, vision, interaction, and soul.

 

Design Week PDX 2017
Better Together

/ Interactive Installation

Design Week Portland is a weeklong series of events, installations, and conversations showcasing the evolving state of design in Portland, Oregon. Each year, the city-wide convergence of creatives from every discipline inspires a wave of collaboration, education, and community building. 

At Cinco, we set out to create an event that would require us to work in a fully integrated process across all of the studio’s disciplines. The result was a captivating experience that blended a great party with an interactive installation of sound, vision, interaction, and soul.

 

 

/ Better Together Recap

 

 
 




Better Together

"At its core, Better Together is about the moments when the stars align to blow minds and open creative doors. We’re gathering our varied perspectives and working towards a collective goal: to create unexpected beauty in the moments when individual pieces combine — the moments that create a whole which never could have existed alone."


 

 
 



The identity was built around the eclipse phenomenon, which for us represented that when the right elements align at the right time, it creates something amazing. We used this motif throughout the design of the space and throughout all of the content for the interactive installation.

 

Cyanotype prints by Karly Hand.


 
 

Marmoset

We teamed up with our friends and collaborators, Marmoset Music, to help develop the audio for experience. Working side-by-side with our creatives and developers, the Original Music Team at Marmoset crafted elaborate layers of interactive audio stems that could be triggered programmatically, as well as custom scores to pair with pre-rendered visuals.

 

 
 



Craig Winslow

To handle the projection mapping, we invited Adobe Creative Resident, Craig Winslow, to join the team. Craig brought a wealth of creative input and experience with large-scale projection. By working with midi controllers to drive visuals, Craig was able to add yet another layer of interactivity to the experience.

 

 

   

 

Flir Thermal Imaging

We were clear from the beginning that we didn’t want to just project pre-rendered videos onto a surface. We wanted the space to be a living, breathing, responsive environment. Our hope was to have each person’s presence influence both visuals and sound. One of the biggest challenges we discovered early in the process was that fluctuating brightness from the projectors would make it nearly impossible to track people accurately using standard methods.

After testing a variety of possible triggers and sensors, it became clear that we needed to dig a little deeper. We reached out to Flir, the world’s leading manufacturer of high resolution thermal imaging equipment, and shared our idea. They were excited to go beyond the typical uses for their equipment and help make collaborative, experiential art.

 

 
 
 




By using Flir cameras suspended from above, we were able to create a visual fingerprint of the crowd density, speed, and patterning. Our Dev team wrote custom application that could translate this thermal luminance data into virtually any parameter of sound or imagery.


 

 
 



Concept Development

Within the studio, we tapped anyone available to join in the effort to develop concepts, design, animate, shoot, edit, and code. Using layers of live action, photography, 2D and 3D motion graphics, and generative output, we created over an hour of content in ten chapters, each with a different type of interactivity. Some chapters were more subtle and change in more ambient ways, while some change intricately and more dramatically in response to crowd dynamics.