HUSH Creates Immersive Experience For Major University
Press Release fro HUSH
After building addictive interactive installations for high-flying brands like Infiniti, Showtime and Nokia, the Brooklyn-based techoculturalists at HUSH decided to go back to school. University of Dayton, to be specific.
The private Ohio institution was looking for smart creatives to design a brand experience capable of enrapturing prospective students. HUSH was looking for another opportunity to employ its immersive design instincts to tell a human story that would make an immediate impact. The result? A massive, motion-sensitive digital wall undulating with real-time geometric animation and hidden, first-person video demonstrating the university experience in a personal way.
Dayton got a fractal wonderland. HUSH got an A.
"The advertising industry always asks about the return-on-investment in terms of millions of views, pages or attendees," HUSH co-founder and creative director David Schwarz explained. "University of Dayton might only get around a hundred students a day walking into that admissions building, but the impact is much greater. Prospective students are at a critical juncture in their lives, and this interactive experience could seriously affect and encourage them."
HUSH is increasingly focused on the receivers of its digital design stimuli, which is why it has exponentially amped up its involvement with interactive projects ever since the award-winning Schwarz—a creative director for American Express, Nike, Coca-Cola and many more—first launched the studio in 2006 with Co-Founder and CD Erik Karasyk. Large-form media installations now take up half of its busy docket, which continue apace later this year with an interactive audio and visual room of the future for the 2011 Esquire House in Brooklyn's famous Clock Tower Building, as well as a digital event booth sensorium at December's World Petroleum Congress in Doha, Qatar.
That's a long way from Dayton, Ohio, where HUSH's sprawling wall of computer-generated waves and hidden video footage, shot by a crew armed with wearable GoPro digital cameras, resulted in a visually impressive hello for newfound Flyers. The project originated with Philly-based agency 160over90, who tapped HUSH to adapt the colorful, geometric brand language it had already created for University of Dayton to a 21st-century generation better adjusted to console and online gaming's real-time physical environments. After a month-long discovery phase established its vision, HUSH set to transforming a huge wall in the university's new admissions building into a living, breathing welcome mat.
"Kids assemble there before touring the campus, and they're probably pretty nervous or excited or a mixture of both, as most teenagers are before they go to school," Schwarz said. "So we found it cool to work on a project where we can affect people who are in a very particular emotional state. Much of advertising involves broadcasting out into the world, with little idea what viewers are thinking or feeling. But these students are at a crossroads in their lives: where to attend college is a big decision. We wanted to make an impact that could be a real testament to University of Dayton's investment in their students."
HUSH, with art and technology directors, Flightphase, developed the installation's real-time interactive visuals with Open Frameworks, a widely used opensource toolkit. The team leveraged the brightly colored graphics of University of Dayton's brand language to develop the grid of colored cubes that morphed into hypnotic arrangements whenever a viewer approached the wall. The three-dimensional digital cubes would then flip over entirely to reveal GoPro footage of activities unique to the Dayton campus, infusing its computational design with a decidedly human point of view.