Cultivating the future of design

Visual Voyage

Fort Lauderdale, Florida

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In this installation, the direction of the sun is not east to west. The light is controlled by viewers sending a text with the word EAST or WEST, causing the sun, represented by moving light, to travel through each of the 24 international time zones featured on the map. Viewers can move the sun to the end of the map and across the international date line. Once the sun passes this line, a “light show” of patterns and effects cross the entire installation

.The sun effect is achieved with LED backlighting, focusing a “hot spot” of light along the sun path line, casting light up and down the wall behind the perforated panels.  The LED backlighting is comprised of 24 zones of light, suggesting the time zone that delineates a section along the north-south axis of the globe.

While it is possible to select a lighting option that displays a full palette of colors, the installation concept currently features white lights, programmed to dim and grow brighter while  turning on and off in a specific array and pattern.

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Visual Voyage is an interactive light wall that features a stylized map that circles the equator. Triggered light bars mimic the sun’s path as it travels along its axis. The wall is backlit with a controllable LED lighting system that is programmed with colorful animations that dance across the map. Passengers waiting to embark on a cruise can connect via smart phone to interact with the moving lights.

The permanent installation is located inside the Port Everglades Cruise Terminal 25, which is the homeport for Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines new ship Celebrity Edge. The artwork stretches across two large sections of wall in the cruise terminal check-in hall, covering 335 feet with 12 foot tall panels and a faux painted bump-out connecting the two walls.

This concept is intended to be materially rich and exquisite in scale and impact; a contemporary and fresh visual abstraction of the familiar patterns of Earth.

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This public artwork was commissioned by the Broward Cultural Division Public Art & Design program.  Peg Buchan, Assistant Director of Port Everglades, said the Studio HHH proposal stood above the competition for its “youthful generational appeal” that relates to travel and prompts visitor participation.

Guests can participate from any area of the check-in hall, lounge chairs, bar seating, or while standing in line. This “gamification” of the sun’s path encourages visitors to play, interact, and work together while inspiring passengers to connect with others before boarding the ship.

When the Interactive Light Wall receives no text message input, the installation goes into “dormant state” in which the light moves slowly from east to west, transitioning between each of the 24 time zones every 7 seconds and crossing the entire length of the two walls within 3 minutes.

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Sub sequences

Cambridge, Massachusetts

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When the Toyota Research Institute asked for a creative and compelling permanent digital installation that incorporated their brand, our studio created a permanent projection installation that is micro mapped to a white tessellated wall finish that replaces permanent signage by including appearances of the logo at regular intervals.  An elegant hybrid of digital content and physical form, the installation is located directly behind the reception desk so it is the point of first impression for the company.

The initial concepts for the animations were derived loosely from real-world processes and events relevant to the TRI, such as autonomous vehicles emitting a light to scan their surroundings, or the vertical garden in the TRI workspace. The projection content ebbs and flows so the textures that pattern the walls eventually resolve into the logo

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To prevent the projection from interfering with the secretaries behind the desk, we used an ultra short throw projector mounted two feet from the wall. The projection throw skims the surface and doesn’t allow for the possibility of visual interference.

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To test our installation prototype we set up a full-scale mockup of the entire installation within our studio, upside down, with the projector rested on the floor instead of on the ceiling. The entire mockup was inverted and included the tessellation and the wood panel that was used in the final installation, so we could map the projector precisely to specific knots.

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Plural Surface

Cambridge, MAssachusetts

Biogen is a biotechnology company based in Cambridge specializing in research, development, and therapies that aim to treat neurological and autoimmune diseases to patients globally.

Inspired by the network of connectivity that permeates the company from research to manufacturing and distribution, our team designed and fabricated a permanent multimedia installation for the Biogen double height atrium lobby leading to the primary event auditorium.  We were brought into this project by Brian Pierce of Omloop who created Biogen's re-branding package, and envisioned the concept design for the branded environment of the building exterior, entrance corridor and lobby.

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Concept Design: Jeff Grantz and Vanessa Till Hooper
Architectural Design: Vanessa Till Hooper
Fabrication: Design Communications Ltd.
Environmental Branding Concept: Omloop
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A vertical LCD screen incorporated into the wall was programmed with animations. Tessellated patterns move across the surface of the wall depicting a connection of nodes as the points of focus push and pull, creating a ripple effect.  Light spills across the complex planes and edges revealing infinite pools of light, giving the viewer a glimpse of the high resolution content as it passes over this area and then travels “behind” the whole wall.

The installation was designed to take into account the carefully considered viewpoint of each employee passing by. The first viewing angle only reveals the lower half of the wall but as visitors approach, the full height is revealed.  Even extreme angles were taken into consideration, offering delightful opportunities at the far left and right, as well as from the second floor balcony.

The piece is viewable by employees and Biogen guests. It was created to enhance the workplace experience and signify Biogen’s dedication to their employees well being.

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SYdney, Australia / Seattle, UNited States

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The end result is an 8’ x 20’ digital art wall consisting of eight asymmetrically staggered LCD displays surrounded by frosted glass panels, backlit by LEDs.  An infrared camera, located on the opposite wall, tracks the movements of each passersby while interactive programming translates motion into a visual effect. As viewers interact with the artwork they reveal images and colors as patterns coalesce. With a single gesture they cause flowers to bloom and particles to disperse by revealing new colors and layers.  As content spreads like pools of paint off the high resolution LCD display screens and the lower resolution LED areas of the canvas, content is sharpened and softened respectively. The experience invites the viewer to virtually “paint” with their own gestures and explore the endless variations they can create.

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To spearhead the creative process for an Interactive Art Wall for Royal Caribbean's Ovation of the Seas cruise ship, our team conducted a kickoff workshop in London that would lay the groundwork for the creative process and inform the shape and content of this unique interactive experience.

Emphasis on the horizontal motion of the flow of traffic through this primary corridor of the ships main atrium became a focused element from the workshop. The animated content was inspired by rich symbolism particular to the cultures in the geographic areas where the ship would eventually be traversing. The ship, destined for China in the summer months and Australia in the winter months, featured content of cherry blossoms floating in water, sea anemones from the Great Barrier Reef, and dot patterns inspired by traditional Aboriginal art.

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True to the tenants of our studio, this project embraces the convergence of architectural design and the integration of digital media. The permanent and the temporary intertwined.

Our team oversaw the construction process and a full scale mockup of the entire installation facilitated by PBD in Avon. This installation strategy was modular and low-impact, enabling a quick and efficient installation process onboard the ship while at drydock in Papenburg, Germany. Our crew of installers, graphic artists and programmers executed the entire project within one week in March of 2016.

Because we were unable to conduct “field measurements” before installation, we had to design the wall with the built-in capacity to adapt to varying installation circumstances while still achieving extremely precise tolerances. This wall is designed to be entirely front serviceable, allowing easy access for any required maintenance throughout the wall’s lifetime.

The ship’s maiden voyage took place on April 14, 2016, to the United States, Australia, and China.

Toyota Research Institute | Environmental Signage and Graphic Design

Cambridge, Massachusetts

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Studio HHH created a cohesive signage/graphics package for TRI including wayfinding, stand-off logos, playful vinyl graphics, and room/workspace identification signs. The contemporary aesthetic of the signage, made from vinyl, aluminum, and glass, complements  the historic brick building in innovative Kendall Square.

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Word Waterfall | The American Writers Museum


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Word Waterfall was commissioned by the American Writers Museum in Chicago. The exhibit is a permanent, large-scale word-based installation described by the AWM as “a contemplative and meditative experience."

Our creative team was brought on by Northern Light Productions and Amaze Design to direct the conceptual design, prototyping, and to serve as technology consultants. We proposed the concept of projecting motion graphics onto a template of letter-imprinted vinyl backboard, simulating a high-contrast cascade of phrases and words. To test the functionality, our team fabricated over 10 mockups with varying execution techniques. To test the experience and the final animations, our team then constructed a full scale mock-up in our studio in Somerville.

The installation was then recreated in its permanent home at the American Writers Museum in Chicago.

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Mobile Mezzanine

Barcelona, Spain / Los Angeles, California

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A conference table stands at the center of this mobile installation. This volumetric work surface was assembled from three sections which lock together with steel pins for a seamless surface appearance of rolled steel work surface and continuous grain walnut walls. The table encases a half rack server “closet” with all necessary cabling and peripheral hardware, with  active ventilation and cooling. The table also includes brand signage that is internally lit and flush mounted to the walnut surface.

The concept of the gestural interface kiosk centers around austere shapes. The kiosk consists of two volumetric forms – a steel cube and a wood rectangle plank. The steel cube housed a screen and computer, easily accessed within a hidden panel.  An LCD monitor sits perfectly flush within the wood plank that leans against the steel cube, touching at a single point of contact.

This project was an achievement in craft as well as an achievement in spatial efficiency.  All of the elements for this mobile conference room fit within a footprint of 10’ x 20’ and pack into a  single air freight container or one double pallet, making for economic transport globally.

Oblong Mobile was designed as a traveling showcase and workspace for the conference room system mezzanine by Oblong Industries.  

The challenge of this project was to make tech-hardware disappear and to impress the visitor with the capabilities instead of the technology.  We did this by creating a compact space that feels large, with exceptionally refined and beautifully detailed elements that transcend the banality of pixels on screen.

The mobile technology consisted of three elements: an internally lit paper wall holding multiple LCD screens, a walnut conference table, and gestural interface kiosks.  The configuration of hardware and software perform exactly like they do in a conference room environment.

The surrounding wall was constructed out of Molo paper, a lightweight accordion paper, stacked 8’ in height, internally lit with LED lights and fashioned on walnut bases.  The LCD screens were mounted on stands that were laced down between the walls and fashioned to the walnut bases. The appearance was that the screens were floating in the clouds of paper.

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Oblong Conference room

Los Angeles, California

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How can we design a conference room for multiple people to work in a space collaboratively, while using computers? “When Oblong Industries came to me with this question I was deeply intrigued and immediately jumped onboard to work with them on solving this challenge.” - Vanessa Till Hooper

When we work on personal computers we tend to be cut off from other people with whom we are sharing physical space. Oblong developed an innovative solution for cross platform collaboration on digital devices within a physical environment. This conference room platform called Mezzanine allows individuals to connect and share digitally as seamlessly as having a conversation, passing content between wall mounted displays, personal computers, phones, whiteboards and printers.

The goal of the project was simple; create a room which best supports that functionality. The challenge of this project quickly became how to integrate the huge volume of cabling and electronics into a clean architectural environment while allowing regular access.

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This unique space features walls that are lined with “Hardibacker,” a product normally used as a substrate and waterproofing membrane behind tiling. This medium gray tone was ideal as a canvas on which to view vivid display colors as well as an ideal background color for camera capture.  Each wall panel, easily removable, allows access to the network of wiring that laced through the walls. A reclaimed alder table, custom-built by a neighboring business, sits at the center of the room. The table is cut in a trapezoid shape to support straight lines of visibility for every participant to the camera and screens. This “smart room” features a controllable lutron lighting system and color changing LED lighting in the architectural gap reveal.  A flush-mounted whiteboard sits on the left wall and a changeable glass writing wall at the entrance frame the space in 360º of interactive content at anytime.

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Hollywood, CA

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This project required large structural changes. The entire interior was stripped to its bare bones and the exterior facade was upgraded with a row of custom metal landscape windows.

The exterior facade visually floats above a garden of succulents and the main stairs of reclaimed wood divide the two fenestrated facade walls leading through the patio into the  dining area.

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When we first were introduced to this project, we walked into a space that had once been a nightclub but had sat abandoned for years. We did our best to look past the layers of black paint, cracked mirror walls, narrow corridors, and the corrugated plastic canopy.  We saw a glimmer of potential for what this space could become but we did not yet envision the magical urban oasis that would be revealed after months of shaping, refining and discovering through the design/build process.

This architectural renovation was a collaboration between Vanessa Till Hooper and her brother, reclaimed and faux specialist, Jake Hooper.

Madera is the word for wood in Spanish, so the first thing we did was to bring in a wide variety of reclaimed wood to incorporate into the striking canopy ceiling and bring warmth to the great dining hall.  The wide-planked entry walkway, the giant pergola beams, and the hanging vintage wood chandeliers become a primary point of focus as you stem through the custom fabricated metal gates into the lush patio garden.

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Custom bent steel bar stools line the large wrapped bar and feature Spanish style concrete tiles with a row of cube cluster custom pendant fixtures. The dining room features a large mustard yellow built-in banquette as an homage to the Barcelona roots. On the patio, a vintage leather chaise sits in front of the wood burning fireplace connecting the outdoor bar /lounge with the patio dining area. The outdoor patio features two large olive trees, a custom mural by a local artist and cascades of hanging succulents and rare ferns. The concrete patio is transformed into an urban oasis both day and night.  

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Inspired by 19th century greenhouses and Spanish hacienda courtyards, our goal was to strike a balance between old and new.  Between natural beauty and industrial chic, we revealed the magic of bringing together refined vintage elements with rough reclaimed wood.

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