Subtle Animations Appear From The Wood Lobby Wall At NYC Cancer Care Center

August 10, 2020 by Dave Haynes

One of the most powerful effects in digital signage jobs is to add the visuals in unexpected places and ways.

This is a lobby at the new David H. Koch Center for Cancer Care at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York. 

Designed by the NYC agency C&G Partners, the lobby’s welcome wall is called Dreams in Fiber Optic Wood. The intent is to deliver a lobby experience that is “deliberately meditative and atmospheric.”

The solid wood wall has been perforated with 1,000s of teeny pinholes. Those holes let light from pass through, creating minimalist,  pure-white animations. The fiber optic reference is about a bazillion tiny 1/2″ long optical fibers punched through the wood, so that any light source behind it can be seen in front of it.

Inspired by nature, the content includes koi fish, butterflies, flowers and bonsai trees, all constantly changing with the seasons.

I really like this because of the way media was built into the architectural design in a subtle rather than overpowering way. Doing this on a big LCD would  kill much of the effect, while filling a full wall like this with direct view LED would be very costly, and definitely overpowering.

Getting a bazillion micro-perforations in the wood finishings would have cost a few bucks, but the project would have trimmed costs quite a bit by using a wall of relatively low rez white LEDs that push the light through.

It’s not an entirely new idea. I have seen LED light arrays behind wood veneers and in ceiling light panels at trade shows like ISE. But this is a particularly well-executed, good-looking take on it.

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