Viacom's Times Square headquarters serves many roles — as office space, production studios, a tourist destination, and as a cultural organ - a place where thousands of employees and creators from the company's diverse networks come together and share a common vision and history.
Viacom's internal production studio, Catalyst, came to Hard Work Party and our strategic partners, Slanted Studios, with a need for communicating Viacom's rich history to new hires and VIP visitors. They had a large wall space in their soon-to-be-built visitors' center, a treasure trove of footage spanning decades, and access to Viacom's networks' many properties.
At the time, Catalyst knew we had a thing for transparent LCDs, and so of course they made their way into the design. This piece features a custom-made 84" selectively-transparent LCD enclosure with integrated lighting and a 10-point touchscreen.
The enclosure houses a series of modular dioramas, each of which has its own software-controlled lighting and mise en scène including lots of 3D-printed characters highlighting key moments from Viacom's past. User interaction with the touchscreen reveals the dioramas behind the opaque screen and triggers scene-specific lighting, giving a feeling of mystery to the box interior.
The system was designed from the ground up to take advantage of Catalyst's in-house animation capabilities — lighting, screen graphics, and dioramas are modular and can but updated on the fly. Plus the box doubles as a tanning booth!
Slanted Studios & Hard Work Party
Executive Creative Director: Michelle Higa Fox
Technical Director: Noah Norman
Producer: Jennifer Vance
Programming: Beau Burroughs, Mary Franck
Production Assistants: Ana Kim, John Hughes
Digital Fabrication: Gamma.NYC
Fabrication Designer: Marcus Swagger
LED and Wiring Specialist: Aaron Lobdell
Transport/Art Handling: Crozier Fine Arts
Viacom Catalyst: Branding & Strategy
SVP, Brand Strategy & Creative: Cheryl Family
VP/Executive Producer: Matt Herron
VP of Brand Strategy: Tori Turner
VP of Design: John Farrar
Director: Matt Hanson
Art Director: Sean McClintock
Animation Lead: Josh Lindo
Animation: Ross McCampbell, James Zanoni
3D Modeling: Scott Denton, Sean McClintock, Michael Berger, Ryan Kittleson, Casey Reuter, Tom Cushwa, Scott Hubbard
Fabrication: Elise Ferguson, Tim McDonald, James Zanoni, Benjamin Kress
3D Printing: Shapeways, New Lab, 3d Hubs, NRI
R&D Design & Animation: Carl Burton
R&D Prototyping: Michael Boczon
Video Editor: Jared Smith, Alex Zagey
Archival Footage Research: Jason Yorke
Copywriter: Tanya Davis Copy
Editor: Tory Mast Research: Jen Li
DP: Chris Willmore
Music: Ketsa "Within the Earth"