The Lab @ Panorama


Bringing that West Coast cool out East, the organizers of the infamous Californian fest, Coachella, brought their formula to NYC for the first time with Panorama last month. One of our favorite additions to this Randall’s Island art and music gathering was the HP-powered interactive experience entitled ‘The Lab.’

Presented in partnership with The Verge, The Lab was conceptualized, curated, and produced by and featured seven interactive exhibits lit up (quite literally), by NEW INC members. Housed in a giant 70-foot dome, the space itself was as unique as the exhibits themselves.

was commissioned to illuminate the exterior facade of The Lab. Their design featured moving images and visuals that changed depending on the level of social media activity that took place on Randall’s Island. The idea, according to VolvoxLabs’ creative director Kamil Nawratil, was to “introduce natural elements that are symbiotic with the geometry of the piece."



Behind the facade, there were plenty more NEW INC members showcasing projects, including alumni Dave and Gabe. Fresh from being named in AdWeek’s top 20 content creators of 2016, the dynamic duo produced Hyper-Thread, a silk-woven dome where festival-goers could retreat from the intensity of the live music. The space featured hanging silk cocoons, each fitted with motion sensors. Moving and swinging in the cocoons allowed users to manipulate the sound, changing parts of the music.



Cotton Candy Theramin, previously featured at last year’s NEW INC showcase, was again on show at The Lab. Created by  Emilie Baltz & Philip Sierzega (with creative coding by Charlie Whitney and audio by Antfood), the idea was to rework the motion of making cotton candy into an interactive instrument. The piece situates a theramin, which works by detecting the movement of the player's hands, inside the framework of a cotton candy machine. As the user pours the sugar in or spins the candy cone, sounds and visuals are triggered by the theramin, so “you get a feeling of being inside the cotton candy” (- Emilie).




Philip Sierzega and Charlie Whitney also produced Giant Gestures, under the name of their collaborative working team, Mountain Gods. Giant Gestures explored the physical actions involved in using a smartphone and blew them up large scale. Instead of swiping and pointing with your thumb or finger, users were given a giant foam finger-pointer to interact with an equally large mock-up of a touch pad. In scaling up an action such as swiping open a lock screen the action itself is noted and commemorated.

We’re thrilled that NEW INC members had such an integral part in bringing this experience to life! Check out the links below for more details  on how NEW INC members rocked The Lab: