Finalist 2023

BUBBLE

Spacesuit&Co / Mirvac / The Ci Group

‘BUBBLE’ is a real-time digital art installation, connecting audiences to live wind conditions, created for Heritage Lanes tower in Brisbane.

At the intersection of art and technology, ‘BUBBLE’ is a real-time digital art anemometer or wind meter, created for the foyer and rooftop LED screens at Mirvac’s Heritage Lanes tower in Brisbane.

Seen locally and right across Brisbane, the art installation connects audiences to live wind conditions. It aims at creating a destination for the tower, connecting us to nature, and enhancing our wellbeing.

Internationally recognised and awarded, ‘BUBBLE’ is the world’s first real-time digital wind meter, and arguably one of the largest and most powerful pieces of public LED Digital Art in the world.

Design Brief:

Heritage Lanes is Mirvac’s first large-scale net zero carbon office development, powered by 100% renewable electricity. The design inspiration for architects Woods Bagot was to connect people to nature with the quintessential ‘Queenslander’, with windows that open to cooling breezes, high ceilings that flood spaces with light, careful orientation that suits the subtropical climate.

Property developer Mirvac formed an Art Committee to commission the site’s public artwork, including permanent, temporary, & digital art creations, to echo the building’s fluid interior design and connection to nature. The intent was to create a new benchmark for the Australian workplace, a destination that celebrates innovation & creates a sense of community.

Our brief was to create a distinct and innovative art installation for the foyer and rooftop LED screens, honouring the building’s climate-sensitive design, amplifying the biophilic architectural narrative, and creating a memorable destination to revitalise the urban precinct & enrich the Brisbane city community.


This project was developed by:

Design Process

The production of digital artwork ‘BUBBLE’ was staged over an 18-month period from concept design, through development, testing & deployment.

Our concept work first considered the presence of the tower, its place in the environment & what it connects to. We landed with the idea of ‘wind’, how it wraps the building exterior & flows through the interior. Our art aimed at bringing this connection to life, with an immersive experience on the foyer ceiling & building rooftop. The challenge was articulating ‘wind’ for distant & close viewers.

We explored a myriad of front art ideas, and imagined air blowing on a bubble, seeing spectral colours in motion. This approach was creatively exciting. So, for the foyer, created the macro surface of a bubble, responding dynamically to live wind data. And for the rooftop, a trompe l’oeil of bubble-like silks connected to the same live data, appearing as if physically pinned to the rooftop corners of the 35th floor. From a distance they appear as 'real' flags, heralding change and innovation.

Through the development phase, our team created over 30 iterations of the art front and motion dynamics systems. We placed concepts insitu in Virtual Reality, to visualise the viewing angles of each screen and to optimise the trompe l’oeil in the rooftop art.

BUBBLE is a highly technical work, requiring a specialist team of digital artists and software designers to execute. Working from our Melbourne studio, BUBBLE was created using real-time visual software with a series of bespoke procedural math algorithms connected to RSS weather data values to generate live motion. This motion was dynamically shaped for both close & distant viewing screen experiences.

Whilst the tower & screens were being constructed in Brisbane, our art progress was presented monthly to the Heritage Lanes Art Committee. Once approved, we then completed screen testing, installation & calibration onsite.

Design Excellence

Digital artwork 'BUBBLE' amplifies the architectural “Queenslander” narrative of natural flow & biophilia. The art’s very concept anchors the building in a connection to the natural environment and a response to changing local conditions – the wind.

Aesthetically, its lofty digital sails are perfectly pinned to the rooftop frame in a trompe-l'œil, with the sky background attached to time-of-day data and transitioning from day to night. The foyer bubble lilts across the entire ceiling, immersing viewers in a topographical depiction of wind direction and speed.

As a digital anemometer, the art does what it set out to do. Being both immersive & informative experience, it displays live wind conditions for near & distant audiences. The front art works hard at connecting us to the environment, and the heads-up display delivers live weather information and numerical detail for visitors.

Mindful of a focus on health, our art considers the impact of the LED screens to daily visitors. Designed for our wellbeing, BUBBLE was finished with a tempered balance of contrast, saturation and brightness, with limiters placed on the motion dynamics to maintain a place of calm.

From a sustainability perspective, Heritage Lanes is Mirvac’s first large-scale net zero carbon office development, powered by 100% renewable electricity, which includes the LED screens.

Successfully launched in June 2022, ‘BUBBLE’ at Heritage Lanes Brisbane is Australia and the world’s first live real-time digital anemometer. It is arguably one of the largest & most powerful pieces of public LED Digital Art in the world, being locally immersive and seen right across Brisbane’s CBD.

Created entirely in Melbourne, BUBBLE has recently been recognised on the international stage, awarded winner of the 2023 Global Digital Screen Awards in Barcelona for 'Creative Direction in Visual Experiences and Public Art’.

Design Innovation

Digital artwork BUBBLE at Heritage Lanes Brisbane is the world’s first live real-time digital anemometer – and certainly the first of its kind in Australia. It is also one of the largest and most visible pieces of public LED digital art in the world.

BUBBLE on the indoor foyer screen covers 232 square metres, while the outdoor rooftop measures 384 square metres. To give these measurements some global perspective, the largest LED ceiling in Europe at the time of launch was 169 square metres in area. So, the foyer canvas for our digital art team to create and manage was enormous, with a 16K resolution across 4,240 individual LED tiles and over 9-million pixels.

BUBBLE was created using real-time visual software with a series of bespoke procedural math algorithms connected to RSS weather data values to generate live motion. This motion was then dynamically shaped for the individual screen experiences of close and distant viewing.

Controlled by 8 different players, BUBBLE in the foyer isn’t just one video file. It is actually 8 x individual 2K resolution files, all mosaiced together with pixel-perfect timing across the screen. Essentially, that’s 32 YouTube videos all playing simultaneously on one screen. It took a very powerful custom-built PC and our clever programming team to drive the BUBBLE art experience.

It’s existence in Australia breaks ground in the opportunity to create other real-time immersive digital artworks and connect to audiences with meaning, by attaching front art concepts to other live data sources, such as the stock exchange, road traffic volumes, air quality, and water health indexes.

It’s about seeing and connecting to what’s happening in the world around us, through digital art.

Design Impact

Since its launch in June 2022, BUBBLE has become a luminant focal point for the building & Brisbane’s skyline. The artwork has made a significant contribution to creating the destination of Heritage Lanes, attracting tenants and their staff to the building, revitalising the urban precinct and enriching the Brisbane city community.

The art has attracted the attention of local news, social media and online - igniting conversations about Heritage Lanes as a destination and innovative workplace, which has been celebrated by both Mirvac and key tenant Suncorp. The 35-level tower has attracted near capacity tenancy, with the art experience being a favourable aspect in the attraction and retention of employees.

Recently named Brisbane’s top workplace, Heritage Lanes has achieved the Leesman+ certification and citing the rooftop as “one of the most impressive, & frequently visited, parts of the building”. https://www.suncorpgroup.com.au/news/news/Heritage-Lanes-named-Brisbanes-top-workplace

In the case of placemaking, the impact of Mirvac investing in professional design processes, has created a destination which people connect with for its uniqueness and innovation, recognised both locally and internationally.

Created entirely in Melbourne, BUBBLE was recently awarded winner of the 2023 Global Digital Screen Awards in Barcelona for 'Creative Direction in Visual Experiences and Public Art', which was celebrated internationally and on Mirvac’s LinkedIn page to 100k+ followers.

BUBBLE is an example of the powerful connection of commercial and artistic expressions, aligning to create a memorable destination for all to enjoy, from near and far. It is estimated that BUBBLE on the foyer screen is viewed by 7000 employees & visitors each day, and the rooftop art seen by 30,000 daily viewers from right across Brisbane’s CBD.

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