Sunday, 29 April 2012

Rainbows Children's Hospice at RHS Chelsea Flower Show

Having recently completed a successful Knowledge Transfer Project with Rainbows, embedding social media and creative technologies into their operations to support income generation, we are now working with them on an entirely new project: the first digital installation in a show garden at RHS Chelsea Flower Show.

Generous donors to Rainbows have sponsored the unique garden in the ‘fresh’ section of RHS Chelsea Flower Show with a view to raising the profile of the hospice through media and related activity. The gardeners, Second Nature Gardens in association with BBC East Midlands gardener, Ady Dayman of Derry’s Nurseries in Cossington near Leicester, have a history of success in the high profile show – in 2009 they took a Bronze Medal for their design having first entered the show with a children’s themed garden in 2007.

Design of the Rainbows garden, image RHS Chelsea

The Rainbows garden has been designed for the hospice staff and the parents of children and young people as a place of reflection and relaxation, with a nod to current trends. It includes large frosted acrylic screens, forming the boundary walls and creating silhouettes of people and plants. Architectural amelanchier trees are being used with a sunken bed planting which is crossed by stepping stones. The piece de la resistance, however, is the digital animated projections that we are providing which will be triggered by people visiting the show garden, appearing on one of the acrylic screens.

The technology being used is part of our Retail Lab’s consultancy project arsenal and is normally used to gather data in retail stores, where it recognizes people’s age and gender as they pass by. In the show garden, this capability will be used to generate a unique interactive experience for visitors, based on their demographic profile: passers by will trigger an animation that has been created for their profile. The animations for the installation have been created by current Masters in Creative Technologies student, Noora Attia, who specializes in animation and design. The installation has been put together with the help of Quividi, a technology manufacturer, and local digital signage company, Working Solutions.

At Derry’s last week, testing some of the equipment for the 
show garden, image courtesy of Ady Dayman

After the show, the garden will be moved to the Loughborough based hospice where families and children can experience it for themselves. The interactive installation is, however, only going to be available to people who visit the show, so if you are near Chelsea in London and want to see the first digital installation to be used in a show garden, pop along to meet the team between 22-26 May.

You can capture a glimpse of the installation as we are setting up a quick test of the technology in the foyer of Fletcher building this week (Tuesday and Wednesday, 1-2 May) to check the triggers we've designed with the folk passing through the space do what we intend they will.