A form of urban art is popping up in cities throughout the world. Urban Projection Mapping, as it is loosely known, is the art of creating video displays that make buildings spring to life in light and color. A cousin of augmented reality, this global delight has begun shaping how we advertise, celebrate, and inspire.
From projecting onto the sails of Australia’s iconic Sydney Opera House to Romania’s massive parliament building, here are some of the many imaginative projects that have occurred around the globe in recent years.
India’s biggest projection mapping project thus far occurred during the country’s Republic Day in 2023. This year, New Delhi was transformed with a projection mapping display synchronized with a drone display (of 3,500 drones!) Beating Retreat 2023 featured a 3D anamorphic projection mapped onto New Delhi’s Secretariat Buildings. And it was the first time a show of its kind had been projected onto the imposing buildings. The 14-minute show included fourteen Pixera systems, including one Pixera Director license, bolstered a Beating Retreat set-up that included 61 × Christie 20k-lumen laser projectors, a further eight 40W RGB laser projectors, and lighting comprising 96 × moving heads and 180 × LED PAR lights. See a video here.
Created for the 50th anniversary of Australia’s iconic Sydney Opera House and projected onto the sails in October 2022, this recent projection mapping project, From the Sails: Light Years, was a visual celebration of the history and people of the venue. Art Processors created an original film artwork projected across the recognizable “sails.” It was a magical experience that used their innovative live audio-visual synchronization technology to envelop audiences in the musical narrative and storytelling – without needing to download any app. With one scan of a QR code, anyone watching the spectacle could listen to the soundtrack on their device wherever they were. Watch a video of it here.
SUPERBIEN partnered with Giant Spoon and Netflix for a project in New York City: projection mapping onto the Empire State Building for the launch of Stranger Things season 4. SUPERBIEN created 12 minutes of original creative animation and visual effects using raw assets, images, and footage from season 4. Using 46 video projectors, they showcased main characters like Eleven and Hopper, the monstrous Demogorgon, and more. Watch the video on SUPERBIEN’s website.
Although the iconic building known as Casa Batlló in Barcelona is over 100 years old, AV technology has provided it with new life inside and out. As AV technology continues to evolve, the team at Casa Batlló is always trying to stay ahead of the curve. That's why they partnered up with world-renowned artist Refik Anadol. In 2022, during five emotional shows projected onto the building, Anadol triggered the audience’s roar with his futuristic vision of Gaudí's legacy. See the full video here! Learn more about the AV used in Casa Batlló in one of our “How’d They Do That?” episodes on AVIXA TV.
Known as the largest video mapping event in the world, iMapp Bucharest Romania, an international mapping competition, was started in 2014. The reward for winning this annual competition is having your project illuminate the massive parliament building of Bucharest, Romania. The Palace of the Parliament, as it is known, is one of the heaviest buildings in the world, weighing about 4,098,500,000 kilograms or 9.04 billion pounds. It is also the second-largest administrative building in the world! And on Saturday, September 23, iMapp Bucharest returns. The winners will have their art projected on the façade of 23,000 sqm of the biggest administrative building in Europe. See a dazzling video from 2015 here and check out more information on their website!