What’s Behind That Glowing Holiday Window Display at Barneys New York?

Christie Digital design team works with retailer to once again bring spirit of the season to prominent storefront with 700 hand-blown choreographed ‘icicles.’

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Christie has once again teamed up with retailer Barneys New York to create what it calls “a one-of-a-kind holiday window display” that features 700 hand-blown glass “icicles,” upon which the company choreographed a light show that captures the spirit of the holiday season.

Christie’s digital lighting effects were mapped to a Dale Chihuly glass sculpture named “Winter Brilliance.” The choreographed projection of light “creates the illusion of ice, snow and moonlight, adding a fluid and kinetic quality to the sculpture,” according to the announcement from Christie.

“Winter Brilliance” combines several star-like chandeliers and towers within a darkened window space, giving the impression of ice crystals frozen midair. It marks the first time Chihuly has used 3D digital mapping and choreographed lighting to illuminate an installation.
The lighting cycle starts with pure white before moving into a sequence of snow flurries, ending in fiery display of red and yellow light projected onto the 700 hand-blown glass ‘icicle’ elements.

In partnership with Barneys, the Christie THREE SIXTY team developed digital 3D lighting experience concepts and content for Chihuly to review and approve.
“Before now, we have never seen projection mapping on glass,” said Matthew Mazzucca, VP of Windows and Exteriors at Barneys. “We are always workings towards new and innovative ways to integrate technology into our installation and window designs.”

The scene, which will be on display through Jan. 3, “is an interpretation of fire and ice, relating to the heating and cooling of the glass-making process,” according to Christie’s announcement. The choreography pairs with a modern adaptation of a score by Claude Debussy, one of Chihuly’s favorite composers.

Christie is also involved with a second holiday window display at Barneys, Arctic Chase, which features penguins perched atop miniature cars navigating a winding winter road. The display features an animated short film by Invisible Light Network entitled “Stay Cool” on a video wall composed of 2X4 Christie FHD461-X flat panels.

A third window display features slowly evolving ice castles, while a fourth display treats pedestrians to live ice carving demonstrations. Altogether, the windows “produce an immersive visual narrative that engages pedestrians in a dramatic way, creates conversation, and leads them into the store,” according to the announcement.

“Projection mapping upon 700 pieces of hand-blown glass has never been done before and is very difficult to replicate,” says Sean James, VP of Christie Global Professional Services. “It’s an enormously creative and technical accomplishment, and is the kind of successful ‘art-meets-retail experience’ that we’ll see emerging all over the world in the next few years.”

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