Vivid 2017

We couldn't be more excited about this year's Vivid Festival. We were fortunate enough to be asked to collaborate on Ford's Freedom of Movement installation at the Hickson Road Reserve in the shadow of the Harbour Bridge.

The brief was to design a kinetic sculpture that integrated audio and light to create a thrilling response to Ford's 'Go Further' theme. While Vivid is known for its incredible light shows, with this installation we wanted to create not just a visual treat but an opportunity for audiences to play with the installation. 

Our friends at Imagination came to us with the original idea of swings that switched from a 'show' mode to a 'play' mode. Our job was to design 5 swings of a scale and complexity to deliver on the ambition of a thrilling kinetic light and sound show but that could also easily convert into a delightful and playful swing experience. And of course it had to meet the safety standards you expect from a public installation. 

Even though the pace was frantic we still found time to innovate to bring that extra wonder to the project. Particularly gratifying was seeing our SimpleControl tool chain work so beautifully. Using 3Ds Max to design the show with the show director then within minutes outputting the positioning macro directly to our control system gave us enormous flexibility. Practically speaking it allowed us to maximise the time we had to work on the physical aspects of the installation without limiting the creative process on the show. 


Another delightful aspect of the project was the integration of audio, lights and positioning data. This allowed for realtime audio and light cues to be triggered based on where the swing was in its movement. The public riding the swings are delighted when the swing responds to their efforts with triggered sound and lighting effects.

The Specs

Each Swing has its own dedicated SimpleDrive linked together and controlled by our SimpleControl system. For this project we created a dedicated graphical control interface on our touch screen integrated into the SimpleBox to provide easy monitoring and control for operators. Each swing has a SEW motor and a dedicated clutch to manage the transition from motor driven to human driven.



paula le dieu