Stella Artois Water.org Partnership: See a Water-Inspired Art Installation Created With Close to 600 Kinetic Droplets
Stella Artois and Water.org celebrated their partnership and commitment to ending the global water crisis with an interactive, public art installation. Where? New York’s Grand Central Terminal, of course!
Since 2015, Stella Artois has partnered with Water.org, a nonprofit providing safe drinking water to those in need. The goal: to expand the beer brand’s commitment to raising awareness of the global water crisis and sparking consumer action. As a unique way to celebrate this partnership, Stella Artois and Water.org unveiled a public, kinetic art installation at Grand Central Terminal in New York.
Since the partnership began, Stella Artois has presented a consumer call to action annually. Typically, this includes introducing limited-edition chalices representing countries where Water.org provides support. The purchase of one chalice helps the nonprofit provide five years of clean water for one person.
The chalices have been available at Stella Artois activations, including the brand’s Sundance lounge. Chalices were available for purchase at a branded bar in Grand Central. However, the main draw of the event for passersby was the installation, conceptualized by creative agency Mother New York and executed with creative digital production company MediaMonks.
About the Art
The interactive installation, “Water Ripples,” coincided with World Water Day on March 22. It was open to the public March 23 to 26. The unveiling of the sculpture also included a panel with Water.org co-founders Matt Damon and Gary White, along with Stella Artois executives and journalist Tamron Hall. The water-theme kinetic sculpture took inspiration from the partnership. So far, this partnership has helped Water.org provide 1.5 million people in the developing world with access to clean water. The final goal: provide 3.5 million people with long-term, sustainable access to clean water by 2020.
The 36-foot installation was composed of 558 kinetic droplets made from thin, vacuum-formed polystyrene plastic. Surprisingly, each drop was hand-painted on robotic, rotating droplet holders. The droplets connected by 15,700 feet of cable and 6,000 feet of wire. Passersby were invited to touch the center column of the installation, initiating a ripple movement, making the droplets move in unison.
Marie-Céline Merret Wirström, the executive producer of experiential for MediaMonks, says her team spent a lot of time finding an elegant way to design droplets. They had to not only be large, smooth, and lightweight, but had to work with micro-winches and move at high speeds.
“We really wanted to push the creative boundaries. How could we best make the droplets move together fluidly and in a well-choreographed way?” she said. “Getting them to blend in well with interactive moments for the visitors was also a good challenge. It came out really well.” Wirström noted that the biggest technical challenge for her team was setting up the installation in less than two days.
“The Grand Central Terminal team advised this is the tallest, most complex installation ever erected in Vanderbilt Hall,” said Wirström. “Integrating the structural, technical and programming engineering of the kinetic sculpture was a huge challenge overall for the project. Combining that with very little time to install, set up, and test prior to opening, it took an incredible amount of coordination, effort, and man hours with multiple expertise to accomplish an interactive art installation of this scale and kind.”
Source: BizBash, March 28, 2018, Author: Ian Zelaya