Kingdom of Colors by Thomas Blanchard & Oilhack. Photograph by Mike Johnson II, AIA, IIDA, LEED ID+C

As a designer, I feel that it’s important to constantly look outside of our profession for inspiration and creativity. It helps me appreciate unique perspectives of art, music, film, technology and culture that can be incorporated into design and ARTECHOUSE has been a great source for all five. “ARTECHOUSE is an innovative art space and creative powerhouse dedicated to showcasing and producing experiential and immersive large-scale installations with artists who are forerunners of the new age in the arts and technology.” The doors opened at its discreet location of 1238 Maryland Ave SW in Washington, DC, in June of 2017, and has consistently sold out each installation.

Kingdom of Colors by Thomas Blanchard & Oilhack. Photograph by Mike Johnson II, AIA, IIDA, LEED ID+C

Each digital installation offers a sensory overload experience through the use of very high powered digital projectors, booming sound system and strategically placed Microsoft Xbox Kinects. Last month’s digital installation, Kingdom of Colors by artists Thomas Blanchard & Oilhack, was featured on Apple’s commercials for the iPhone X.  It is described as “Pushing the limits of engineering and creativity, this audio-visual sensory installation uses the new possibilities afforded by advances in filmmaking and camera technology.  Immerse yourself into a world of dreamlike colorful liquids in motion and experience unique and innovative visuals over 24-foot high and 270-degree state of the art wall projection.” The hypnotizing lava lamp like digital projections, coordinated with a hypnotizing soundtrack, fully submerges each visitor into its larger than life experience.

Kingdom of Colors by Thomas Blanchard & Oilhack. Photograph by Mike Johnson II, AIA, IIDA, LEED ID+C

This month’s installation, “Imaginary World of the Nutcracker”, by Sila Sveta, will be on display from December 7th 2017 – January 7th 2018, just in time for the holidays.  It promises to be “an exploratory experience through multiple immersive sets where the Nutcracker and other characters come to life via projections and the ARTECHOUSE Augmented Reality app”.  The AM admissions is a great place to visit with family during the holidays, just as the augmented reality bar is the perfect setting to ignite your creative mind and taste buds for you and your co-workers, after that deadline you’ve been working so hard on.

**The views and opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the IIDA Mid Atlantic Chapter.**