While at Mindseye, I was approached by another firm to create several designs for a large Medical Center Lobby Display which was under construction in California. The brief was rather open, other than a few conceptual ideas, which left me with a lot of creative freedom and plenty of room to explore. The focus was on 4 themes — Water, Air, Light, and Earth.
Since the Medical Center was located in Northern California, the direction given was to incorporate certain elements native to the area. The horizontal screen was meant to be a backplate for long lists of text — it ultimately became an "environmental wrap" to set the text within.
I started off designing the Earth theme first. Since I knew we would have a large fullscreen environment horizontaly, I decided to take a more graphic approach for the vertical screen by choosing one central element to focus on. It was an easy jump to make a Redwood or Sequoia the center piece. Here are the two earliest designs I created — Earth and Light:
After creating the initial version of "Light", I realized I would need some sort of graphic element to use as an anchor compositionaly. I decided to work with a circle to represent "Earth" and nod to a prism using a rotated square within the "Light" theme. In the end, I utilized these two graphic elements among each of the four themes.
Upon client review, it was decided to split up the approach so that we would have a mixture of "fullscreen" and "centerpiece" compositions. Another request was to remove any representation of people to keep it focused on the geography around the new hospital. So, I went back to the drawing board and reworked both pieces.
When jumping into revisions, the approach for "Earth" seemed pretty straight forward; utilize the circular elements (for throughline and continuity sake) and create a "full screen" design. As for "Light", it was more of a creative struggle. I had a chat with my dad about the issue and we were mulling over different ideas when he mentioned grapes. Northern California , check. They thrive under strong sunlight, check. It walks the line between "Earth" and Light", but I was sold.
Once I had locked in the vertical centerpiece, I approached the horizontal screens. This came quickly, as it was meant to be an ambient background. I repurposed some of the custom light leaks and color textures to tie them both together and voilla — moving on...
"Earth" Theme Horizontal Screen Design
"Light" Theme Horizontal Screen Design
After completing both design revisions I now had a clear game plan on how to approach the piece as a whole. I began to move onto designing the other two themes, "Air" and "Water". Within early conversations, there were talks of including the Golden Gate Bridge within the "Air" theme. So, I began exploring ways to make that work with my single focus composition approach. Water, came rather quickly as it's a much more etherial visual when composing a fullscreen design.
"Air" Theme Design - Vertical
"Water" Theme Design - Vertical
"Air" Theme Design - Horizontal
"Water" Theme Design - Horizontal
In the animation department, it was a whole lot of subtleties combined together. Nothing was intended to stand out, rather just keep a continuous evolution of motion. The transitions worked out pretty well once I nailed down the idea of incoporating the single ferry-like particle set to float in and interact with a central graphic piece. In the end, it's a whole lot of subtle shifts in opacity letting the designs move the viewer forward. After all, this was meant to be in a lobby, through which hundreds of people would pass within a day, so there was no need to scream for attention. The installation itself would do that on it's own. You can check out those subtle animations more closely here:
I'm proud of the end result and I'm happy to share with anyone interested in knowing more about the process I used.
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