Ad Astra

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

Challenge

Transform a 400 sqft lunchroom into a temporary night-time destination.

Ad Astra was an interactive experience that immersed visitors into an infinite night sky and created a quiet — but highly 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 immerse themselves within, and become an active participant in a group environment.

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 the impression of 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

The installation was exhibited at the Bata Shoe Museum, as part of Scotiabank’s Nuit Blanche 2013 - Toronto’s largest all-night public art festival - and named amongst the top '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 (Software Engineer), Jesse Allen (Sound Engineer), Michael Tai (Musician)