Ueberall International, a leading experiential design firm, and E Ink Holdings, an innovator of electronic ink technology, are joining to produce eFlow, a groundbreaking project at the airport that will combine art, media and state-of-the-art technology.
Lockhart said Ueberall and E Ink have been selected to do the exterior art work on the northeast side of the new four-story airport rental car center, which will consolidate all operators under one roof.
The airport has an ongoing arts program that includes not only public art but also music and dance, said Lockhart.
“There are 30 different sites throughout all the terminals that have public art,” she said, adding that Ueberall and E Ink were chosen for the new art project following a national search. “Their cutting-edge technology will animate the entire façade of the building in a camouflage dazzle pattern.” Lockhart also noted the special paper used produces the optical illusion of movement.
“This dynamic façade animation is an innovative technology that has never been used on this scale,” Lockhart said, adding the dazzle pattern to be created will comprise 2,450 individual, autonomous panels laid out in a pattern across the entire façade.
“The pattern itself will be black and white and fully programmable and changeable,” she said, adding it can be altered to change the perceived “speed” of the dazzle to make it more or less pronounced.
“In the evening, it will be enhanced with lighting,” she said, pointing out the artwork is also sustainable in that it is partially powered by solar cells used in its 2,450 panels.
Planning group member Kurt Sullivan noted the dazzle pattern could be tied in with wayfinding signage as a visual cue to help airport users find their way more easily.
“This is going to be a really cool visual that will bring more interest to the airport area, which to me is vacant and sad,” concluded planning group member Jacob McKean. “I’m very excited about this — and the technology.”
“I’m concerned about this being a distraction for somebody driving,” said Jarvis Ross, Peninsula Community Planning Group’s liaison with the Midway planning group.
“What’s great about the programmable technology is that it can be made to be more subtle to make sure it’s not an impairment to drivers,” Lockhart replied.
Midway Community Planning Group chair Melanie Nickel said the Middletown trolley stop, nearest to the rental-car center, is going to be renamed as the “Airport Trolley Station” to tie it in to the airport’s north-side redevelopment.
“If you’re able to pull this off, my feeling is you should be nominated for an orchid,” said Nickel of the airport artwork’s innovative concept.
Lockhart added that though the rental center itself will be opening in January, its new “dazzling” artwork isn’t expected to be active until the first quarter of 2017 to ensure that it works properly and produces the desired effect.
The projected budget for the new dazzling artwork has been estimated at $800,000, Lockhart said.