A new immersive, public art installation opens today in Lower Manhattan’s Seaport District, part of a first-of-its-kind collaboration from Atlantic Re:think and Lincoln. The installation, titled The Nautilus, is free to the public, and is meant to serve as both a destination and an experience for visitors to the seaport throughout the summer.
“With this public art installation, we were able to use Lincoln’s rich design heritage and technology, and bring a really fun and immersive experience to the seaport,” says Jeremy Elias, executive creative director of Atlantic Re:think. “This isn’t the typical approach to auto advertising, or a new-car launch, and the result is a piece of art that gives visitors at the seaport a real, valuable experience.”
Created by design studio SOFTLab, The Nautilus consists of nearly 100 interactive poles, arranged in a circular constellation, that each respond to a visitor’s touch and to environmental sounds. The entire installation is connected by a back-end computer and sensors, so that touching one pole sets off a choreographed audio and light display. While a single touch produces one tone, simultaneous interactions with the installation stimulate a complex, layered chorus. Its animated lights act as a dispersed lighthouse, which visitors to Brooklyn’s waterfront park will be able to see from across the East River at night. The Nautilus will be open through September 10, and then move permanently to Lincoln’s home, in Michigan.
The Nautilus is named after the new Lincoln Nautilus, and is a deviation from how auto companies typically launch a new model. Rather than relying on a traditional advertising partnership, Atlantic Re:think and SOFTlab turned the brand’s design principles into an experience. Inspired by Lincoln’s approach to incorporating technology into its vehicles, the installation puts visitors at the center of the art piece, and leans on intuitive technology to respond to a person’s unique touch.
“Human-centered design and personal experiences are intrinsic to the Lincoln brand,” says Lincoln Marketing Communications Manager Eric Peterson. “The installation showcases Lincoln Co-Pilot360, our suite of driver-assist technologies, in a unique and interactive way.”
In addition to the installation, the collaboration includes a documentary detailing the design process, interactive sketches and early renderings, and an article featuring interviews with Lincoln and SOFTlab designers about how the installation represents the role technology plays in interactive art.
The Nautilus is the latest innovation in brand marketing from Atlantic Re:think. Recent projects include an original score from Hans Zimmer for Land Rover, a live midterm-election tracker for Netflix’s House of Cards, and a documentary on the ethics of artificial intelligence for Hewlett Packard Enterprise. For each of these campaigns, Re:think’s approach has been about creating a profound experience that encourages the audience to not just consume the product but build a relationship with it. The New York–based Atlantic Re:think team is led by Executive Creative Director Jeremy Elias and Chief Revenue Office and Publisher Hayley Romer.