Lonely Planet Writer

Turn yourself into a 14-foot digital sculpture at this groundbreaking installation

A unique interactive installation has been unveiled in Columbus, Ohio that enables visitors to create a gigantic digital sculpture of their own heads.

As We Were utilises groundbreaking technology to create a gigantic digital sculpture of visitors.
As We Were utilises groundbreaking technology to create a gigantic digital sculpture of visitors. Image by DCL

Created by Design Communications Ltd along with local artist Matthew Mohr and The Greater Columbus Convention Center, “As We Are”, utilizes a 32-camera 3D photo booth and 850,000 individual LEDs in order to generate a dramatic likeness of guests that get their images taken inside it. Using custom facial recognition software and a process called photogrammetry, synchronized cameras inside the structure capture a person’s portrait and custom software stitches the separate photos back together to display across the surface of the sculpture.

The project’s founders envisioned creating an experience for visitors grounded in self-reflection, striving to emit a sense of diversity and inclusion to the local area by allowing them to create the giant depictions of themselves for all to see. “As much as it is a technologically sophisticated project, it’s an experiential installation, putting yourself on display at that scale,” said DCL Director of Creative Technologies Jeff Grantz. Striving to create that harmony between art, technology, and the human experience, DCL worked to develop, engineer, and build the 7000lb installation, fabricating it on a 24-layer aluminium frame of contouring custom Sansi LED modules.

The sculpture utilises a 32-camera 3D photo booth and 850,000 individual LEDs in order to generate a likeness of guests.
The sculpture includes a 32-camera 3D photo booth and 850,000 individual LEDs. Image by DCL

Dubbed the ultimate selfie machine, the sculpture was engineered, fabricated, and tested in Boston, and travelled nearly 800 miles to its final destination at the newly renovated exhibition and event center in Columbus. The piece’s creation touched on a spectrum of creative and technological industries, from structural engineering and fabrication to the custom electronics, software and cloud-computing services. Since its launch, the sculpture has received visitors from all over the world, with people being encouraged to share their experience on social media with #AsWeWere.