Innovation Clock

Visualizing the pulse of innovation in Kendall Square with a digital artwork powered by social media.

BioMed Realty Trust

Design Communications, Ltd.

Creative Direction
Design & User Experience
Data Visualization
Data Analytics
Software Development
Fabrication & Install
Project Management

The Innovation Clock is a data powered artwork that uses LED lights to visualize unfolding stories of innovation in Kendall Square, Cambridge. The piece uses language analysis algorithms to perpetually listen for Twitter conversations about innovation, and translates them into animated patterns of light at three distinct architectural scales and resolutions.

At the largest scale, a grid of colored spotlights on the building facade forms a scintillating map of activity in the conversation over the last 24 hours.        

At a more human scale, visitors are greeted by an eight foot tall illuminated monolith in the lobby of the building. On its outer face is a grid of colored LED lights, echoing the facade, representing the conversation over the last hour. On its inner face is a high resolution LED display surface showing excerpts from the conversation. Emerging themes and relevant Tweets are revealed through dynamic typographic animations. 

A synchronous sequence of animations is triggered across the three displays when a new Tweet enters the system, and at the top of each hour. The interconnected surfaces of the artwork transform the building into a timepiece that reflects the conversation about innovation in and beyond Kendall Square.

Visitors are welcomed with a live snapshot of innovation in Kendall Square.
Themes in the Twitter conversation are revealed through animated type.
Natural language processing pulls relevant content from unstructured data.
LED-friendly typefaces maximize readability on the display.
Architectural lighting summarizes the day's activity.
The outward facing display serves as an abstracted hourglass.
The color and brightness of each LED records recent Twitter activity.
Project Features
The automated system continuously collects and curates fresh content with no maintenance.
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