Innovation cannot survive without creativity constantly flowing. This concept is visualized through pulsating light along the walls of the newly expanded Microsoft Training Center at the Microsoft Canada Headquarters. While they work, visionaries in the center can watch the lights moving along the walls, a physical representation of their own thought-process.
In 2013, the Headquarters underwent a massive renovation to upgrade their facilities. As a part of this project, the Microsoft Training Center needed a creative new lighting design that would impress clients and match Microsoft's cutting-edge reputation. The center serves as both a showroom for Microsoft products and a collaboration center for engineers and clients to meet.
Lighting designers Leland Curtis and Matt Alleman, of Smith Group JJR, were brought on to create the dynamic design for this project. The two required an LED solution for its programmable capabilities, and they used Philips Color Kinetics products because of their long lifetimes and ability to provide the customization essential to his design. LEDGendary Lighting was also brought on to work with the lighting designers to program and complete the technical installation for this project.
Curtis and Alleman installed eW Cove QLX Powercore fixtures beneath a layer of translucent material along the blue walls of the center. They then created eight unique scenes which vary in intensity and pattern. Programs range from vertical waves of white light slowly moving across the wall to high action effects such as a lightening or ripple of light. These actions also vary in frequency, from several bursts of light in a 10-second span to one prolonged burst every five minutes. "Speed, intensity, and pattern are calculated to express a thoughtful and professional atmosphere with a hint of curious wandering," Curtis explained.
To help execute the designers' vision, Philips Color Kinetics produced a custom precision dimming version of eW Cove QLX Powercore, allowing precise dimming from 0% to 100% with an iPlayer 3 DMX controller. Mounted over the walls of lights are interactive touch screens that invite visitors to play games and explore Microsoft's products. Together, the lights and screens create a whimsical and dynamic exhibition designed to spark each client's creativity.
"Pulses of brightness originate at the screens and travel along the length of the wall as if the data itself is being transmitted and visualized," said Curtis. "I love how the lighting transfers a sense of depth and fluidity to the feature wall."