Screen shot of a christie project

Audiences were in for a glowing treat at this year’s Christie Design Awards, a competition offering third-year Global Business and Digital Arts students access to industry mentorship and leading-edge technology in interactive display.

This year’s competition challenged students to explore the elements of interactive design through 3D projection mapping, a medium that turns objects like buildings into digital works of art through a combination of light and music.  Using Adobe After Effects and well-crafted storylines, students produced magical experiences that took a 3D brownstone apartment model beyond its physical form. (See video below.)

Grabbing the attention of judges was Daniel Recchia’s first-place composition (see video above) which tells the story of overcoming the fear of social rejection in a lively sixty-second show.  The main character is a Ghost named Charlie who observes the Earth from space. He is intrigued by the life and excitement happening below, but resists participating because of his deep fear of rejection. In a surge of courage, he joins the action and we follow him through a series of emotion with a spectacular performance. In the end, he comes to realize what he would have missed had he not overcome his fears.

3D model of brownstone building

“It was a great learning experience, allowing me to continue developing my current skills while expanding into a new medium of digital media,” said Recchia. “Being able to build an intricate projection show on a model designed and hosted by Christie® is such a rare treat, especially knowing that they are world-leaders in projection technology.”

Owen Remers, Senior Manager of Open Innovation at Christie, presented the awards to this year’s winners.

“We were absolutely blown away by the submissions,” he said. “This is one of the reasons why we support the University of Waterloo.”

Remers went on to describe Daniel Recchia’s first-place submission as “A professional level production, on par with the content that we use at our corporate events.”

Additional winners included Arturo Salek (second-place) and Cailin Younger (third-place).

An example of 3D projection mapping created by a Waterloo student.

Projection mapping is experiencing notable growth, with driving factors that include a rising number of music and sporting events, and even retail services.  Barneys New York flagship store is just one of the notable retailers to have featured Christie®’s 3D projection mapping, bringing magic to their famous holiday window displays.

Christie® will be generously sponsoring Waterloo design awards for the next three years.