Category Archives: Creative Technology

W+K Lodge’s Oculus Rift Chrysler Experience Takes People Even Deeper Inside

chryslerlodgeIn order to build the all-new 2015 Chrysler 200, the Chrysler brand went back to the drawing board and rebuilt everything—even the factory that makes it.

Earlier this year W+K launched the Chrysler 200 Factory Tour, a first-of-its-kind interactive experience that allowed consumers to journey inside the 5 million square ft. Sterling Heights Assembly Plant (SHAP) behind the all-new 2015 Chrysler 200. Their reasoning? You can read the reviews online. You can look under the hood and you can take it for a test drive. But if you really want to research a car, you have to look beneath the surface of the car.

But for this season’s auto shows, we wanted to let people go even deeper, and the W+K Lodge discovered a perfect way to do just that. Continue reading

“The Work Comes First” Interactive Wall

“When we say the work comes first, we are saying that things work best when everyone – client and agency alike – are focused on whether or not this is great damn work. Politics aside. Egos aside. Is this hot shit, or not?”

–Dan Wieden

The work comes first. When Wieden+Kennedy asked us to create a permanent installation with these words, our response was to make sure we meant it. It needed be a demonstration of the ingenuity, creativity, and patience for tedium that goes into truly great work. Not just another projection screen or the newest new trick–something interactive but handcrafted. And handcrafted by us.

We proposed that we build a wall made up of parts you can pick up at any hardware store: a couple pegboards and a bucket of screws. We’d spell out “The Work Comes First” by placing screws in the pegboard and manipulating them with 3D-tracked hand movements. It would be fun to play with, to touch, to hear. It would be a couture piece of technology with a blue-collar aesthetic.

In typical W+K fashion we had a great idea, but then realized that we weren’t entirely sure how to make it. The collective experience of the team at Wieden+Kennedy’s Creative Technology department put us in the realm of possibility. But we had to start small. We knew where we needed to go, but had only a rough idea of how to get there. We figured the screws didn’t need to travel an enormous distance. The sound would be cool and the right lighting would probably give us shadows that would accentuate the movement.

Our first real prototype was a small brown pegboard controlling nine screws with a LEAP sensor. To help move from the prototype to the final installation, we enlisted the help of Mark Keppinger from the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI). We moved from a perfboard for nine to an array of custom designed and printed circuit boards which each operate thirty-two solenoids. Design was finalized and colors selected. We flushed out our Cinder app to work with two 3D sensors and control an arbitrarily large network of physical pixels.

To help figure out just how the hell we’d build this structure and mount our cluster of components, we called Rob Off. The sixteen foot wide wall was cut and the custom pegboard CNC’d. Nearly nine hundred solenoids were modified to attach the screws. Over two miles of wire were hand split, cut, and soldered to attach each solenoid to the circuitry. Thousands of tubes of heat shrink-wrap were shrunk.

The wall was shipped back across town in four sections to the gallery space at Wieden+Kennedy where it was reassembled and tuned for the space. And as people arrived, what at first appeared to just be a nice-looking motto began to respond to people’s movements. “The Work Comes First” is a permanent installation on the fourth floor of the Wieden+Kennedy Portland office. It stands as a testament to what the mantra means and the handcrafted approach that we take with all projects within the agency.


Stephen Schieberl, Evan Cordes, Zhao He and Mike Latzoni : Creative technology, electronics, software, and fabrication
Ben Sellon & Krystle Mortimore : Producers
Ayse Altinok : Art Director
Joe Paganucci : Design and fabrication
Tamar Berk : Project Manager
Karrelle Dixon : Account Director
Rob Off : Fabrication
Mark Keppinger : Electronics

David Potter : Camera and Edit
Michael Gersten : Music

For Creative Technologists, an Introductory Field Guide to Dealing with Big Brands in Partnership with an Ad Agency

fieldguideWieden+Kennedy is an advertising agency that solves brand challenges through all creative media, and code is an increasingly important part of the brand experiences we build.

On October 19, 2012, Golan Levin gave a presentation at FITC’s Emerging Technology and Advertising event in Toronto titled New-Media Artists are the Unpaid R&D of Ad Agencies.

It was a provocation meant to spur dialogue between advertising agencies and new-media artists. Since we work with new media artists (and employ a few) and some work we’ve done was mentioned, we wanted to contribute to the discussion, because misunderstandings on each side of the line between art and advertising have the potential to sour relationships that should be awesome.

Yes, awesome. As an agency, we like to make great work with the best talent. And at a time when a new-media artist might struggle to make ends meet off their work alone, advertising is one industry that appreciates them and can give them a (paid) platform for their ideas. Is it always perfect? Hell no. But as an agency, we’ve worked out ways to collaborate through other creative media. Code should be no different. And the more we work together, the better it will get.

W+K’s Stephen Schieberl, a Cinder contributor and creative tech, joined with Renny Gleeson, W+K’s global head of interactive strategy, to coauthor an introductory guide to dealing with big brands in partnership with an ad agency like Wieden+Kennedy. It’s an open letter to the creative tech community explaining what’s important to brands and why, so we have a common language to help us get out of the woods and into some great work. We hope this offers directional guidance to help build productive, creative relationships. Continue reading

Why We’re Not Hiring Creative Technologists

In the digital, interactive and social media-focused agency world, it’s easy to talk a big game, but for disciplines that require true, deep knowledge of the subject for success, there’s a fine line between “understanding” and “expertise”. Our Creative Technology Director Igor Clark explains why ideas aren’t enough, below the jump.

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