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University of Washington The Foster Exchange

Sometimes customized technology and hardware is the only way to go.

When the University of Washington built its new Foster School of Business, they wanted the main space to feature a massive interactive installation. Visual Communication Design Professor Karen Cheng and Assistant Professor Kristine Matthews envisioned a two-story column that showcased scrolling messages posted by students and faculty around the theme “business is _________.”

Sticky was commissioned to execute the motion graphics and content management system for the project. We worked closely with the builder and brought in an electrical engineer to ensure seamless integration.

The installation’s digital components showed messages rolling in like old-school ticker tape, which then quickly jumped track, jumbled, reformed, and evolved into a kind of poetry. To achieve this level of fluidity and logic, Sticky had to create a custom solution that would allow orchestrating graphics across non-continuous sets of LED tiles. We also designed special housing for all of the electrical components, finding creative ways to make them accessible from the column’s front for easy ongoing maintenance.

  • We created a custom solution for linking simple 2" x 4" LED tiles that allowed full-color and motion graphics to run fluently across tiles, whether side by side or far apart.

  • The interactive display was far from an afterthought. Built right into the column, technology was conceived as part of the original architectural plan.

  • Like a stock market ticker, text seamlessly scrolls from right to left, cascading downward from one row of tiles to the next.

  • Students enter their messages into a simple online form which is then vetted and put into rotation by the system administrator.