Ad Astra

Sic itur ad astra: 'thus you shall go to the stars'. Designing a large-scale artistic intervention for Toronto's busiest all-night art festival.

Challenge

Transform a 400 sqft lunchroom into a temporary destination.

Ad Astra was an interactive experience that immersed visitors into an infinite night sky and created a quiet — but memorable — retreat from a festival known for crowds and late-night antics across the City of Toronto. One of the core goals of the project was to create a simple, photogenic intervention that the general public could relate to, and become an active participant in the experience.

The room – approximately 20x20 feet in size – was filled with over 150 spherical lights, and clad from floor-to-ceiling in mirrored acrylic panels to create an infinite night sky. Visitors were invited to enter into the space — eight at a time – to explore. Open-ended interactions encouraged exploration, and upon discovery of "trigger" lights, the overall space responded with location-specific music and lighting changes in sync to the audio. Beyond the visual experience, Ad Astra turned small visitor interactions into large spatial responses.

"Once inside the dreamlike (or was I just dreaming?) space, there was a sense of peacefulness amongst those enjoying the aesthetically pleasing, almost otherworldly void we found ourselves a part of."

Rhys Male, ARTORONTO Magazine

This installation was a collaboration between 7 architecture grads, a biomedical engineer, a musician, and a sound engineer, and completed as part of ReduxLab at Ryerson University. The installation was exhibited as part of Scotiabank’s Nuit Blanche 2013, Toronto’s largest all-night public art festival, and named amongst the 'Must-See Independent Exhibits' by Designlines Magazine.

  • Category: Interactive Exhibition
  • Client: Bata Shoe Museum / Nuit Blanche
  • Date: March - October 2013
  • Team: Neveen Abdel-Aal, Ryan Giuricich, Kevin Pu, Helena Skoneiczna, Setareh Shams, Sandra Wojteki, Marcelle Longlade, Jesse Allen, Michael Tai