We collaborated with Pepsi to create an experiential presence at the Champion League’s Fan Zone in Cardiff.
One of the many challenges was to enhance the standard table football experience to allow people to have a short game with high impact, featuring an automatic scoring system, a lighting display and sound effects.
Having dismantled and completely rebuilt the football tables in polished acrylic and stainless steel, we installed laser beam break devices into the mouths of the goals to trigger a custom designed and programmed circuit that charts the scores on large LED displays, mounted underneath the new acrylic pitch.
When someone reaches a predetermined score, the same circuit sends triggers to the venue lighting and sound control producing a venue-wide lighting and sound sequence.
On the other side of the space was the main experiential attraction – a football contest where teams competed against each other to hit targets on a double sided video wall. Once a team hit the target, the entire video wall tracked away from them and toward the opposite team.
Kicking footballs at a video wall isn’t advisable! So we used a colour web system stretched between two taught clear PVC screens inside a truss frame to produce the targets and allow the teams to see each other through the wall.
The screen frame was suspended from beam crawling dollies on heavy steel beams in the roof. Every time a team scored, the control system activated the motors and the screen moved, also sending trigger signals to the lighting and sound systems and the video servers to produce an array of lighting, sound and video effects. At the end of the game, the motors reset to the start position and the game began again.
All designed, created and tested in-house here at PDS.
Here at PDS we have enjoyed a long relationship with Lush which has required the creation of various installations for events and stores here in the UK and further afield.
The fidget spinner craze had not passed by the design team at Lush and they had conceived a new unusual bath bomb – asking us to build an installation that made the bath bombs spin randomly.
Small 12V model motors suited the size and weight of the bath bombs. Custom designed and programmed circuitry controlled these motors to make them spin at different speeds and in both directions randomly through-out the event.
For Christmas, Lush asked us to create a light-up set of Ferris wheels carrying lipsticks in the carriages for their flagship Oxford Street store.
The size and strength of the motors was critical to ensure that the wheels span evenly, potentially unevenly loaded and for a long period of time. Variable speed controllers were installed to allow the Lush creative team to adjust them to suit on site along with an emergency stop system for obvious reasons.
The wheels were made from laser cut steel with polished acrylic baskets, each swinging on polished stainless steel axles.
Industrial slip rings were required to get 12v power onto the rotating wheels to power the LED lighting.
The entire creation was designed and built in little over a week – being installed overnight in time for the Christmas lights switch on.
Working with Initials, we built a pop-up store for on-line retailer ‘Not On The High Street’.
One of the aspects of the complex stand was a ‘Thoughtful Thought’ machine that presents the visitor with a motivational card on the press of a button. The machine needed to work faultlessly on Waterloo Station and at Westfield during the busy Christmas period so it needed to be robust!
Our solution was to acquire and adapt a parking ticket machine as the central mechanic. This had to be reverse engineered and a custom computer circuit designed and programmed to send it the correct signals in order to produce the card.
Sounds easy? It is, if you know how…
We were asked by our friends at Initials to help launch the new Fiat 500 model. “Can we make the car control the music?” was how the conversation started.
We created a 15m diameter vinyl record strong enough for the car to drive around activating the music whilst Ella Eyre performed in the centre.
Our interesting solution was to use the technology employed in marathon running. Chips attached to runner’s shoes tag their start and finish times as they cross sensors on the road.
We dismantled, adapted and reversed this technology so that the car, driving over sensors in the record, triggered beats, basslines and audio samples. The entire computer based audio system was then installed into the boot of the car, allowing the sensors to be moved around and placed anywhere on the record. This was transmitted to the event sound system using radio signals.
The result was an event on the south bank of the Thames with 200 celebrities and invited guests watching Ella Eyre perform to music created entirely by a moving car.
"The end result; a wall of Fidget Spinners that randomly spin in both directions"