Engagement, legacy, art

Posted on Tuesday, November 5th, 2013 by

Working in a communications agency, how many times have we heard the words ‘engagement’ and ‘legacy’ this week? On the odd occasion a day goes by and we don’t hear them, we certainly read them in industry press.

With art being among the strongest legacy medium of all time (think cave wall art), Outlook working with a key client decided art would play a key part in an exciting project.

The brief was simple: create an on-stand ‘engagement feature’ for a trade show. Something which would capture delegate interest, but would also encourage people to revisit the booth several times during the show. This wasn’t about giveaways or free coffee; it was about creating something interactive, a living artwork that captured the imagination of an international audience.

Oh, and although it had to be participative, it shouldn’t be too complex or time-consuming.

Enter stage right… H-Art, a 3D piece of structural art, 4m x 3m and constructed out of 1,800 individually cut white ‘cells’.

On Day 1, it’s a solid white structure. Then we started taking photographs. Capturing an informal portrait of every visitor to the booth. Images were then artworked by a backstage team of designers and printed onto bespoke self-adhesive photo paper.

Once completed, individual ‘visitor images’ populated the cells on the structure.  Over the three days of the show, as we brought the artwork to life, supporting ‘shaped pieces’ of printed Perspex overlaid the images to create colour, texture and shape.


People came back to the artwork throughout the show, both to find themselves and watch it grow.

It’s a simple concept, and one we’ve been asked to develop and personalise for clients again and again – sometimes smaller, sometimes designed to represent a different shape, sometimes an integral part of a head office lobby. The art is populated by real people, so every variant is different and every installation is unique.

Such was the success of the H-Art installations, Medtronic asked us the following year to come up with something ‘equally participative…but different’. Cue Heart Beat, where we produced a music video live on the booth: a two ‘zone’ experience with a musician writing/producing an original music track with an on-hand video editor and 3D animator. Alongside everyone ‘giving a heartbeat’, we gave everyone the opportunity to remix and download their own personal version of the track. And a multiscreen display highlighted the edit and composition process….but that’s another story!