360-Degree Projection-Mapped Skull Serves as Visual Centerpiece for Las Vegas Event


BARTKRESA studio’s (BKS) 12-foot-tall, 360-degree projection-mapped skull, Shogyo Mujo, is a unique installation that utilizes projections, lighting, music, and interactivity to bring a sculpture to life. The visual centerpiece has appeared at Burning Man, SIGGRAPH, and Adobe Max. During the 2018 Life is Beautiful music and arts festival in Las Vegas, Shogyo Mujo was the centerpiece of the Area 15 pop-up, an immersive space advertising a retail, dining, and entertainment establishment coming to Las Vegas.

Nominating Company: BARTKRESA studio, Santa Monica, California
Venue: Shogyo Mujo @ Life is Beautiful, Las Vegas, Nevada
Project: Shogyo Mujo @ Life is Beautiful
Category: Experiential Design &Planning

Area 15, a futuristic retail, dining, and entertainment complex coming to Las Vegas in 2019, wanted to make a bold impression at the annual Life is Beautiful Festival. The music and arts festival takes up more than 18 blocks in downtown Las Vegas to celebrate creators through immersive art experiences. Area 15 approached BARTKRESA studio about featuring Shogyo Mujo as the main feature of the Area 15 pop-up space created for the festival. They wanted the space to feel surreal and cutting-edge. As the giant, sculptural centerpiece of the pop-up, Shogyo Mujo engaged guests with a combination of projections, lighting, music, and interactivity. The Area 15 pop-up had the vibe of a counter-cultural community. The combination of Shogyo Mujo’s graphic shape—a skull—bold projections, vast library of content, and interactivity with music created a unique experience for each guest that resonated both in person and on social media.

Area 15 bills itself as a futuristic, never-before-seen venue. They wanted to advertise the upcoming establishment in a way that represented the cutting-edge, sci-fi, immersive experiences that guests can expect when they visit Area 15. For the Life is Beautiful festival, they designed a mysterious pop-up space that invited guests to come together in a counter-cultural community. They needed a feature that clearly branded their space as alternative, and chose Shogyo Mujo.

Standing 12 feet tall and requiring four high-powered projectors to create the seamless 360-degree projections, Shogyo Mujo was an imposing figure that supported the Area 15 slogan, #somethingiscoming. BKS covered the skull during the day and began each night of the festival with a dramatic reveal. The pop-up featured high walls on three sides, so that guests could only see Shogyo Mujo from the entrance. This drew them into the space, where they experienced mesmerizing and innovative art.

The installation of Shogyo Mujo at Life is Beautiful was an example of an innovative experience rooted in art and light. Multiple high-power projectors projected bright and colorful high-resolution images that seamlessly changed in tone and theme throughout the duration of the event. BARTKRESA studio created more than 30 original animations in addition to real-time looks that added a layer of interactivity to the installation. A custom program, developed using Derivative’s virtual development platform, allowed the projections to run on iPads, iPhones and MIDI interfaces. These input devices gave more flexibility for creating live artistic interaction with the skull. All of these elements combined to create a unique gathering space. Winston Fisher, the CEO of Area 15, said of the Life is Beautiful Festival that, “this place allows you to kind of go big and dream.” Shogyo Mujo at the Area 15 pop-up truly allowed guests to experience a tremendous fantasy.

Shogyo Mujo pic

Shogyo Mujo succeeded in defining the Area 15 pop-up as the destination for a unique, futuristic experience. The organizers for Area 15 received 10 times the number of sign-ups for social media and their e-mail list than they had at comparable events. They identified Shogyo Mujo as the element that attracted guests and defined the experience. Shogyo Mujo was featured on the cover of the Las Vegas Weekly spread about the entire Life is Beautiful festival. Shogyo Mujo was a highlight of the festival, accentuating Area 15’s dedication to incorporating new technology to stimulate, inspire, and create unique innovative experiences.

Projection Design – BARTKRESA studio
Client, Producer – Area 15
Projectors provided by – Evolve
Sculptor – Josh Harker

Shogyo Mujo @ Life is Beautiful won a DSE 2019 APEX Award in the Experiential Design & Planning category.

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