What happens when you provoke designers to bring to life a digital footprint?

February 2, 2023

Challenge Day 2022, Brisbane

Populous’ culture is underpinned by collaboration, ideation, and entrepreneurial creativity. For our Brisbane team, who work on the lands of the Turrbal & Jagera peoples, they recently took part in the aptly named Challenge Day, the pilot event for an annual series hosted by Populous’ internal Advanced Technology Group (ATG) for the Asia-Pacific region.

Challenge Day provides opportunities for people to engage with technologies outside of their day-to-day work and gives them a platform to deliver their ideas. All staff can participate and are highly encouraged to form diverse teams to support stronger outcomes, build collaboration skills and learn from different perspectives.

For the Brisbane pilot event, seven teams signed up, with people connecting across project teams, departments, and disciplines, from marketing through to architecture, interior design and visual communication.

  • Challenge Day 2022: Initial workshop

Alex Goldston, Populous Senior Associate and BIM Coordinator is a founding member of the ATG. He shared how each Challenge Day will present teams with a unique and tailored brief designed to explore a theme at the intersection of architecture and technology.

The 2022 theme was focused on representing Populous’ digital footprint and our long history of designing remarkable spaces. As a company, we produce a tremendous amount of exciting work, and the sheer scale of information collectively created, edited and shared every day across our teams, our region and the globe is staggering.

Alex Goldston

The 2022 teams came together for a series of sessions to explore how to visualise and communicate our expertise via the large-format display screen in the foyer of the Brisbane office. Submissions were then reviewed by the ATG and the winning entry, Project Evoke by Daniel Joseph and Andrea Piotrowski, was developed with support of the ATG for exhibition at our annual, global conference and other key events.

  • Project Evoke team: Andrea Piotrowski and Daniel Joseph

Project Evoke recognises that Populous’ projects would not be possible without the creative and collective effort of the people who work on them, and that our projects are only as successful as the experiences of the many diverse people who interact with them.

Daniel Joseph, Populous Associate, BIM Coordinator and Project Evoke team member, explained that the design aimed to foster interactions between Populous and the wider world through art that is not only visually appealing, but also connects people through playful engagement and creative inspiration.

“We aimed to design an interactive medium that would create interactions internally with the staff at Populous and externally with the public as they walked past the office on the street front,” Daniel said.

Project Evoke’s primary artwork is comprised of the Populous brand array of blue tones, freely swirling around the screen when not being interacted with. As people walk past, either within the foyer or on the public street front, the colour of their clothing is captured using a combination of webcams, machine learning and other technology. This colour is then injected into the artwork via their movement.

People inside the foyer have the added ability to manipulate and move these colours around the screen through motion detection – a motif to the way in which we collect data and inspiration from the public, using it to shape and mould our projects.

  • Motion detection allows people inside the Brisbane office foyer to manipulate and move colours around the screen

Andrea Piotrowski, Architect and the other half of the Project Evoke team, believes the key to her successful Challenge Day partnership with Daniel were their different skill sets, experiences, and interests.

“We basically had a four-hour window to begin with, and Dan and I paired up. He is really into technology and I’m more into design ideas, which meant we could strengthen and build on each other’s concepts and brainstorm together under time pressure. We made a really good team,” Andrea shared.

  • Project Evoke team: Andrea Piotrowski and Daniel Joseph

After a successful 2022 event, the 2023 Challenge Day series will extend to include the rest of Populous’ Asia-Pacific team. With people across 14 offices representing more than 35 nationalities and a broad range of skills and interests, we’re looking forward to the collaboration and innovative ideas that stem from the upcoming Challenge Day brief.

If you’re driven by innovation and love to channel your entrepreneurial creativity, we want to hear from you! Take a look at our current job opportunities.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *