The fourth dimension of design

Designers that marry

Designers that marry technology with fundamental design tenets say the sky’s the limit when it comes to developing new projects. While tech-enabled design is still in its infancy, designers foresee a dynamic future.Pictured: Designers that marry technology with fundamental design tenets say the sky’s the limit when it comes to developing new projects. While tech-enabled design is still in its infancy, designers foresee a dynamic future.

Darrell Long, design director for Hirsch Bedner Associates, is trying to use technology to create a four-dimensional display in a hotel lobby.

That concept may sound outrageous until you hear how he has figured it out: Using an upcoming yet-to-be-named hotel (tentatively called the 8950 Sunset Boulevard Hotel) in West Hollywood, Calif., Hirsch Bedner plans to install a design to work in tandem with all five human senses. In doing this, Long believes he can make an image step into the room with guests as they enter a space.

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Conceptually, the lobby will have a large visual display showing, for example, a flower blowing in the wind. By tracking guest key cards (or phones, if they are key-enabled), the image will react to them as they move around the room, while the scent of the displayed flower would fill the room.

The inspiration for this design was gleaned first from the lobby of the Cosmopolitan Hotel in New York, where every five minutes the lights in the lobby change. Long went on to consult with lighting designers working in the concert industry to see how to tastefully pull off an extravagant display such as this indoors.

Nick Albert, director at Illuminate Design Lighting, said having guests interact with these displays through architecture is more important than simply showing the image. “We are trying to design using technology in a world where screens are everywhere,” Albert said. “Putting another screen up in another area is not the answer.”

Long’s goal is to use technology design to create a sense of wonder by making it integral to the property. He wants guests to look at a wall and think: is that paint? Is that glass? Is it a video? “I want guests to be able to touch it and think about it, and for that it has to be subdued.”

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