U.K. design firm, Troika, has created a signature piece at the entrance of the new British Airways luxury lounges in Heathrow Terminal 5.
‘Cloud’ is a five meter long digital sculpture whose surface is covered with 4638 flip-dots that can be individually addressed by a computer to animate the entire skin of the sculpture.
By audibly flipping between black and silver, the flip-dots create mesmerising waves as they chase across the surface of ‘Cloud’. Reflecting its surrounding colours, the mechanical mass is transformed into an organic form that appears to come alive, shimmering and flirting with the onlookers that pass by from both above and below.
The sculpture provides a contrast between the busy, hectic airport experience, and the calm, luminous and ethereal world which we discover as we fly through and above layers of clouds.
Another inspiration came from the old electromagnetic flip-dots which were used in railways and airport signs from the mid 70s. Those signs, with their characteristic flicking noise which reminds us of travel, represent a golden age of technology, when analogue and digital started to merge. The flip-dots are also reminiscent of rippling water, adding to the serenity of the experience.
A Zen moment.
What will they do next? A digital Aurora Borealis?