Robe has designs on Cisco Live! 2019
Tuesday, 8 October 2019
robe-cisco-live-2019-cccc0324The four-day event welcomed more than 25,000 Cisco ‘power users’ (photo: Ben Dashwood)
USA - John Featherstone of lighting and visual design practice Lightswitch worked as part of the XD Agency team to help create a high-impact environmental design for Cisco Live! 2019. Featuring a series of light-based artworks, this project was conceived to catch the eye and quicken the pulse of delegates entering the main presentation space at San Diego Convention Centre.
To do this, Lightswitch used over 400 Robe moving lights - 200 Pointes, 180 MegaPointes and 24 Spiiders.
The massive four-day event welcomed more than 25,000 Cisco ‘power users’ from around the world who came to learn about the latest products, services and ideas, to network and be entertained.
The central ‘general session’ space was located across two halls of the Convention Center’s extensive floorspace, configured to seat around 16,000 people with the presentation stage in-the-round.
The lighting and visual effects proposed by John for the project were inspired by Cisco’s commitment to thinking outside of the box and often taking bold and audacious steps in the development and pursuit of innovation in the fast-moving world of technology.
“With a forward-thinking client and a tech-embracing audience, this gives us the opportunity and the inspiration to think about different approaches every year,” explained John, who has lit the event - in different locations - for the previous two years.
The headroom available in the convention centre was relatively low - the venue is essentially a concrete box. To accommodate this challenge, the XDAgency team hit on the idea of wrapping the space in a vibrant and dynamic interactive art installation that brought atmosphere and excitement into the space.
Integral to achieving the effect were two visual elements. The first was a series of light art works that were created with white PVC pipes - a box that defined the pace and was christened Momentum by Schneider. These were lit with LED strips on all sides, creating a dynamic piece fusing scenery with art installation.
The second element was an intense grid of lighting fixtures which created a structure of beams filling the space with light, colour and texture when activated. This light geometry - including concentric circles, boxes and other fractal shapes - was created with most of the Pointes and MegaPointes spaced out evenly on a 10’ x 10’ grid over a 160’ x 160’ space.
On the opening day, the pre-programmed lighting ‘performances’ were tightly cued to five pieces of instrumental music, featuring everyone from Hans Zimmer to Dave Grohl. The Foo Fighters were also the event’s official entertainment, playing nearby Petco Park as part of the guest experience.
On the second day, it had a superheroes and sci-fi movie score theme. The experiences featured added custom video and were chosen to be popular with a tech-savvy Cisco audience. The music was curated by audio designer Dino Ruggerio, and the video content created by Matthew Hemming from Very Good Studios.
Lighting was controlled via grandMA2 full size consoles programmed by Lightswitch’s Dennis Connors and Mike Robertson. The video playback was run via disguise media servers programmed by Troy Fujimura, assisted by Austin Shapley.
Lacey Taylor was the Lightswitch production electrician on site. The show’s co-executive producers were Marc Buchan and Julia Mitchell, the technical director was Joe Russo, and the video supplier was Fuse.
(Jim Evans)

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