Lincoln Collaborates With 'The Atlantic' On Art Installation

Lincoln, in collaboration with The Atlantic and SoftLab design studio, will unveil a free large-scale interactive public art installation in New York’s Seaport District.

Lincoln and The Atlantic partnered earlier this year as Lincoln prepared to launch the 2019 Lincoln Nautilus. The automaker, its agency Hudson Rouge and Atlantic Re:think, The Atlantic’s in-house creative studio, and  SoftLab worked together to create an immersive sculptural experience entitled “The Nautilus,” in homage to the vehicle name.

The basis behind the installation’s sensory experience, is the Lincoln SUV’s CoPilot360 suite of driver assist technologies features such as blind spot detection, pre-collision assist with emergency braking, lane keeping system, rear-view camera and auto high beam headlamps.  

“The Nautilus,” which opens today, includes 95 interactive poles that are activated by touch. Passersby are invited to engage with the immersive space or observe others’ interactions from its central enclosure. The entire installation is connected by a backend computer and sensors so that touching one pole sets off a choreographed audio and light display.

When they grasp a pole, its electrical field senses their presence and responds to the qualities of their unique touch. This prompts the installation to light up and play a personalized tone from an eight-note scale, forming an idiosyncratic symphony of light and sound with other participants.

Inspired by Lincoln’s approach toward incorporating technology within their vehicles, the installation puts visitors at the center of the art piece, and leans on intuitive technology to respond to a person's unique touch, says Lincoln Marketing Communications Manager Eric Peterson.

The Co-Pilot360 suite of driver assist technologies are designed to effortlessly keep drivers safe, in control, and more fully engaged while driving, says Andrea Zuehlk, Lincoln media and integrated marketing manager.

“Designed to serve an intuitive human experience, the Co-Pilot360 technologies help Lincoln’s drivers move effortlessly through the world by helping them sense it,” Zuehik tells Marketing Daily. “Similarly, ‘The Nautilus’ uses visitors' sense of touch and mood to generate a unique response experience, framing Lincoln's Co-Pilot360 innovation in a fun and engaging way.”

Its animated lights act like a dispersed lighthouse, which visitors to Brooklyn’s waterfront park will be able to see from across the East River at night. “The Nautilus” will be open through Sept. 10, and then move permanently to Lincoln’s home in Dearborn, Mich., a suburb of Detroit.

In addition to the installation, the collaboration includes a documentary detailing the design process; interactive sketches and early renderings; and an article in The Atlantic featuring interviews with Lincoln and SoftLab designers about how the installation represents the role technology plays in interactive art.

The installation aims to generate conversation about Lincoln, says Hudson Rouge Global Chief Creative Officer Jon Pearce.

“We’re always looking for opportunities to place Lincoln into culture in surprising and interesting ways that convey something about the brand,” Pearce tells Marketing Daily.

Like the “Billiards” campaign that equates the Lincoln’s Co-Pilot 360 technologies to trick pool shots, this is another way to creatively demonstrate Lincoln’s embracing of technology.

“Lincoln’s Co-Pilot 360 is a collection of really advanced driver assist technologies that monitor and react to an array of moments in driving,” Pearce says. “You’d need a lot of time to fully understand what each of them does. So we wanted to create something big, something interactive, that stops you in your tracks. Something that gets at the reactivity of the technology, and how it responds to you.”

Hudson Rouge came up with the original idea of creating a “wow” moment at the Seaport that brought the complex technologies of the Lincoln Nautilus to life. 

“We thought that an interactive sculpture would both fit the mood and location of the Seaport, as well as attract the attention of the thousands of people walking around that part of the city,” he says.

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