To celebrate its 200th anniversary, Bank of Montreal (BMO) wanted to combine the physical tradition of a wishing fountain with the digital experience of enabling people to make a wish from anywhere on earth. So, BMO, and Mosaic teamed up with Secret Location and GLOBACORE, we created the Wish It Forward Digital Fountain — a traveling installation, mobile web app, and interactive website that all work together to help people share their wishes for the future. We had several ideas when it came to developing the digital fountain. We had concepts including real coins, fountains with water and fountains made of lights. However as we the idea evolved, as a group we decided that we need to create a fountain that would be able to connect to communities across North American and even Globally.
View the digital experience
Within this project we have re-imagined a traditional fountain within both the physical and digital realms. We let anyone create a wish with thier mobile device and toss it into our installation, our website or mobile device. To close the experience we have created a digital universe for all the wishes to live within. Over the span of 2017, we are making 1 wish a month come true.
The fountain installation boasts 50,000 blue and white “flip-dots.” Each panel of flip-dots is connected to dozens of circuit boards that convert electronic signals into the physical sequences that bring the fountain to life. As the team soon learned, creating engaging animations out of circular flip-dots is no small feat. When the creative team landed on the 11 designs that would correspond with the wish categories (Happiness, Connection, and Innovation are just a few of the categories) it was then up to the visual arts team to design animations that could be similarly communicated by 2D flip-dots and 3D renderings. Making sure that the animations checked all the boxes required the sustained efforts of a concept artist, a designer, a motionographer, a WebGL developer, and 3D modeller throughout the duration of the project.
At the installation, two screens point users toward the mobile web app that allows them to interact with the fountain. When a user selects a category and inscribes (types out) their wish on the back of the digital coin, the coin and the fountain’s animation share the same iconography. If the user registers their wish, it’s stored in the Cloud, creating a digital wish universe for all to see.
When you tossed your coin into the physical fountain would react and animate using 50,000 for dots to represent your wish. You could see each individual dot flipping to create the pictures infront of you, you would here the rushing mechanical sound that hundreds of flips would make as they animated down the fountain. It becomes a memory and an experience on it’s own.
Digitally we wanted to re-create this but had to ensure that we were using the digital medium to it’s fullest. So instead of using flip dots on the screen we transform those dots in the hundreds of pillars using the same shapes and design form factor but transforming the result into an immersive experience where we had the ability to bring those animations to life into 3D animated objects with fluid motion, texture and sound. When a user puts on their headset to make a wish on their laptop for instance we wanted them to feel their coin toss into the digital fountain on their screen, to hear the sounds of the all the pixels and pillars into the animation infront of them and feel a quick instance of surprise and delight that something unexpected had come from their simple wish.
We think using this design approach created a thread between all these experiences where the symbols and design languages you would see on the mobile device would translate into 3D Objects and physically into the BMO 200 fountain as well.
Concept Art / Prototyping
We worked hadn and hand to develop the concepts and design elements with all our parnters to ensure that we we're able to create something that was represenative of the BMO brands but also broke barriers innovated.