We were commissioned by Rise Nation in West Hollywood to produce a permanent installation to add to their workout experience. Rise Nation is the first-of-its-kind climbing conditioning studio founded by celebrity trainer Jason Walsh. The ceiling installation extends the typical training soundtrack found in high-impact workouts into an immersive spatial environment. While the lights are on in the training studio the irregular surface of the installation invokes the feeling of being under a rocky terrain. Once the workout begins and the lights are turned down the installation comes alive through a large array of internal LEDs. At first glance, the installation appears to be a plain rocky surface, but the precise gaps between the panels allow the reflected light from the LEDs to pass through in irregular ways to create an animated surface that ranges from simple fades to a field of lighting. The LEDs are programmed with various behaviors to accompany the different soundtracks played during workouts. Created with SOFTlab.
We deliberately designed the sculpture to have a specific modern architectural aesthetics so that it would feel like an organic extension of the space even without light activation. The installation serves as both a sculptural ceiling under normal conditions and a high intensity interactive light field during workout sessions. By using an irregular surface in tandem with a low-res pixel grid we were able to achieve intricate patterns that would have required a much more complex LED array on its own.
Each specially fabricated cells contain unique aluminum and komatex components that were put together by hand during the installation. Creating sturdy connecting points between the aluminum frame and komatex panels was a labor intensive process that required careful assembly.
The installation is made of a custom aluminum frame that was designed in a modular way to be flat packed and easily assembled on site. The “grid” is made of 160 cells. Each cell is made of unique aluminum pieces that were labeled and detailed from a computer model of the installation. The sculpture covers almost 500 square feet of the ceiling and uses about 5600 LED's. The aluminum frames were fabricated in Brooklyn and Komatex panels were laser cut using a custom architectural algorithm.