Soso create interactive coloured light installation

(USA) – Sosolimited’s Colorspace interactive sculpture responds to text messages with animations of coloured light.

Sosolimited has unveiled Colorspace, an interactive sculpture that transforms text messages into breath-taking animations of coloured light. The installation, which resides in the upper lobby at 200 Clarendon Street (formerly the Hancock Tower) in Boston, Massachusetts, was commissioned by Boston Properties, which owns and manages the building.

“We set out to create an artwork that could evolve through an ongoing conversation with the community around it. On a personal level, we wanted to create a playful and surprising moment for tenants as they entered and exited the building each day,” explained Sosolimited Co-founder John Rothenberg.

“You can literally send it any message, and it will translate your text into a unique colour palette of shimmering light. ‘Beach’ lights up the space with blues and yellows. ‘Watermelon’ gives you shades of pink and green,” added Eric Gunther, Co-founder of Sosolimited. “And ‘disco’ lights up the lobby with hot pinks and purples.”

As tenants and visitors enter the mezzanine, they pass a long wall with a wave-like row of suspended light pendants. Anybody with a mobile device can send a text message to the phone number printed on the wall. The sculpture replies with a text message and seconds later, a sparkling wash of coloured light sweeps across the length of the mezzanine, illuminating the space with new colours.

The polished marble and chrome surfaces of the modernist lobby shimmer with reflections, immersing viewers in coloured light. When no one is interacting with the sculpture, it cycles through a series of curated colour palettes, continuously changing the mood of the space.

“The mezzanine at 200 Clarendon is a transitional space that sets the tone of people’s experience as they enter and exit the building,” explained Sosolimited Designer Wes Thomas. “Throughout the design process we worked to create an experience that balanced change and excitement with calm and contemplation.”

The intention of the artwork is to create a dynamic and relevant lobby that gives tenants in the building a sense of ownership and voice in the design of their shared space.

“We’re strong supporters of the Boston arts community,” said Laura Sesody, Marketing Director at Boston Properties. “We set out to commission an artwork that could evolve and respond to the people that see it every day. We’ve been thrilled with the response to Colorspace from our tenants. They can’t stop using it.”

The installation features 70 glowing pendants, suspended along the lobby wall in a wave-like fashion, creating an immersive surface of coloured light. Made from a specially formulated acrylic manufactured by Okalux, the glass-like pendants have microscopic particles inside that catch the light when illuminated.

Each pendant can independently change colour and is controlled by custom software that performs a web-based image search for each text message, analysing the pixels of the top image and builds a visually interesting colour palette. This colour palette is translated into network messages that are sent to the custom circuit boards driving the LED lights. The LED boards were designed for Sosolimited by Mike Harrison, an engineer based in Essex, UK.

“This is the third in a series of artworks we’ve created that transforms words into big displays of colour. It provides a simple, personalised way of interacting with technology, and with a low barrier for participation. Anybody can create unique and surprising visualisations by just thinking of a word,” said Sosolimited Partner Wade Aaron.