On the Royal Caribbean's Ovation of the Seas cruise ship, Materials & Methods constructed a 8’ x 20’ digital art wall with continuously changing content that reacts to each person passing by, and can be controlled through gestural interactivity. A wide sweeping gesture can brush across the image, altering color or pattern, creating ripples, causing flowers to bloom or particles to disperse, revealing colors or adding layers, where as a short sharp motion alters the canvas differently, giving the user the ability to paint with a quickly learned movement “language.” Watching the vibrant canvas respond to bodies in space is arresting, and invites an audience of every type of passenger to want to engage and play.
The installation is featured at the heart of the ship in the main esplanade, and consists of eight LCD displays that are staggered asymmetrically. These are surrounded by frosted glass panels backlit by LEDs. An infrared camera tracks the movements of each passersby, and interactive programming translates their motion to visual effect. The visual content moves seamlessly between LCD screens and the lower resolution LED areas of the canvas, sharpened and softened respectively as the content spreads like pools of paint off of the high resolution displays. There are nine themes of visual content, so individuals passing encounter an entirely different interactive experience each time they pass.
The build was designed to be modular and low-impact, for a quick and efficient installation process onboard. The wall was first fully constructed in our studios and disassembled as a kit of pre-wired panels and movable parts with built-in capacity to adapt to varying installation circumstances while achieving extremely precise tolerances. It was designed to be entirely front serviceable, allowing for easy access for any required maintenance throughout the life of the wall. The final installation into the wall’s permanent home onboard the ship took place in Papenburg, Germany. Our crew of installers, content developers, and interactive programmers executed the entire installation within one week of arrival in March of 2016.
For our studio this was the perfect project, converging architectural design and integration, interactive programming, visual content creation and industrial design.
Ovation of the Seas left the U.K for it’s maiden voyage on April 14, 2016, and has since traveled to the US, Australia and China.