Challenging the traditional hotel, Yotel offers travellers a unique alternative that puts smart design and tech-led environments at the forefront of their users’ experience. Located in 22 airports and major cities across the globe, their capsule hotel in Amsterdam is no different; Artin have been commissioned to create an interactive light art feature transporting guests into the world of Yotel.

Reflecting and reviving the 1980s synthwave era, the design pays homage to the pop culture surrounding the movement. ‘Synthwave’ can be described as a microgenre of electronic music associated with the digital artwork, video games and primarily science-fiction movies from the 1980s. Identified through geometric shapes, clean graphics and bold colour palettes, the installation has also embodied these aesthetics. The modern interpretation finds similarities between the characteristics of synthwave and Yotel’s brand and brings them together using lighting design as a tool to do so. For example, combining the clean lines of LED tubes with Yotel’s brand colours and then animating the content to mimic the rhythm of soundwaves builds a narrative that starts the users’ journey into the space.

A series of nine panels have been integrated into the 1m x 3m high windows adjacent to the main pathway leading up to the hotel. Using 18 360-degree pixelated RGB LED tubes per panel, Artin have defined this key threshold by creating both intricate and bold light patterns across the façade that set the tone for the tech-savvy interior within. Totalling 5500 digitally addressable pixels, bespoke content was developed playing on the geometry, perspective, and neon colours of synthwave art. The rhythm of electronic music has also been visually translated through the installation’s form, architectural spacing and dynamic light animations. Further playing on rhythm and movement, the content is triggered by passing guests using narrow beam light sensors that feed into the interactive nature of the piece.

Walking toward the entrance, pools of coloured light carpet the pavement spilling from the windows and reflecting back upon the façade. Waves of light, gradients of light, rippling, fading, glowing, shifting, bouncing, travelling… Like an architectural arcade, the installation plays on users’ curiosity and playfulness transporting them to a futuristic yet nostalgic world through space and light.

Luke Artingstall said, “I wanted the light installation to have the nostalgic vividness of 80’s neon world when it felt like life was so much simpler. I’m a big believer in that installations should be playful and create curiosity, transcending its viewers into a world of emotional connection where you lose sense of where you are in the world at that very moment. Light is an international language which we all connect with”.

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