Overview

To support Renault’s participation in Clerkenwell Design Week the team have created an interactive installation of 546 sensors which trigger the same number of irises to open and close depending on the movements on the person in front of the installation. The framework around each of the irises are beautifully styled curved bumps which replicate the raised bumps on the Renault DeZir electric car.

Campaign

The experiential agency behind the concept and event experience was Fusion, and Knit developed the interactive installation and creative technology. Creative Director of Fusion, Nick Clinton, explains the concept behind the idea, “In order to reflect the human-centric focus of Renault's design philosophy, we wanted to create an exhibit that would not only look beautiful, but also react and respond to human interaction. Taking inspiration from the goose bump patterning on the DeZir and the iris shutter motion of the human eye, we then faced the daunting task of finding a partner with whom to collaborate on the ‘Iris Wall’. Knit's unique combination of technical aptitude and genuine enthusiasm for the project made them the perfect choice, and we're delighted with the result. It's a wonderfully responsive piece, engaging passers-by with curiosity and humour, whilst maintaining a physicality to balance and support the digital interface.

Knit had two weeks to complete the project which consisted of various bespoke elements. The Iris effect was created by masking UHD LED screens behind a mask. The mask references the “goose bump” patterning of the DeZir and took 121 hours of CNC machining to complete. It had to look right, mask the screens and house the sensors and the wiring loom. 546 Infrared Sensors, one below each iris, triggered the responsive opening-and-closing effect of the iris'. The sensors were wired in a custom multiplexed arrangement that not only required a custom controller to make them work but also a bespoke wiring loom that could be concealed within the mask. This was one of Knit's most technically challenging projects to date but the combined physical and digital elements came together to create a unique and engaging experience for visitors at the Design Factory.

Results

The piece was positioned at the entrance of the Design Factory for the duration of Clerkenwell Design Week. It served as a dwell point for many visitors and captured the imagination of all ages. During the event, photographs of the installation dominated the image content on social for the hashtag; #ClerkenwellDesignWeek.