The Microsoft Lobby Cube Experience is a digital installation that seamlessly integrates architecture and space, transporting employees to an environment in tune with nature. Digital Kitchen created four layers of content that would react to the way passersby move to truly connect employees to the environment.
Microsoft enlisted the help of Gensler [https://www.gensler.com/] and Digital Kitchen to reimagine lobby spaces inside two atriums of their headquarter campus. The result: a digital installation that seamlessly integrates architecture and space, transporting employees to an environment in tune with nature.
Gensler’s architectural solution introduced lit cube elements that can be seen/experienced from outside the buildings, but are also functionally integrated into stairways. People travel through the inside of the cubes to travel between floors. Digital Kitchen concepted four layers of natural environments or “strata” to bring to life inside the cubes. Each strata – water, forest, flocking birds, and clouds – has a unique formal quality such as color, shape, motion and sound. Lastly, a critical layer of reactivity was added to truly connect employees to the environment. Leveraging Microsoft’s own Kinect technology, each strata reacts to human movement through the space.
We were challenged with the problem of using technology to bring nature to life in an everyday workplace. We asked ourselves several questions. How can we use technology to connect people to nature? How can we create a transformative experience for the tenured developers who work at Microsoft’s original campus? What discoveries can we make in the spaces between the natural and digital worlds, while nodding to Microsoft’s rich history of technical innovation?
In order to solve these problems, we developed four different concepts – water, forest, flocking birds, and cloud – that beautifully utilized the cube’s unique structure. Each visitor generates a unique reaction as they move throughout the space, seamlessly connecting visitors to nature, architecture and technology.
The resulting installation continually shifts throughout the day to reflect the constant motion and life of the natural world, and to keep the experience fresh for the employees who come and go regularly.