Limbic Media

Limbic Media

Tag: interactive lighting

How Interactive Placemaking Initiatives Can Boost Return On Investment (ROI)

AGORA | Path Of Light Singing Tree

Placemaking is an approach to economic development in public spaces that incorporates elements of urban design, planning, and management. The strategy combines cultural, physical, and social identities of a place with a community’s public amenities or a building’s shared areas to create spaces that inspire, educate, and contribute to overall well-being.

The idea behind successful placemaking is to create places that are “truly mixed-use space, multi-disciplinary, authentic and aesthetically beautiful,” according to an industry expert that took part in Urban Living Festival 2020’s webinar series. The approach is, in part, being driven by the millennial demographic as they become the dominant buying group and are more focused on pursuing a lifestyle full of experiences. 

Who is Placemaking For?

Aurora Tunnel At The Capilano Suspension Bridge Park

A wide variety of organizations are able to make use of placemaking as a development strategy. Cities, Business Improvement Areas (BIAs), and Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) have the ability to incorporate placemaking into their community planning at a large scale to boost traffic in certain areas, generate revenue, or spread awareness about a local feature or initiative. Smaller organizations like property developers, retailers, and others can also implement placemaking in their space to create better environments or increase revenue. 

No matter the size of an organization, placemaking is a great way to increase returns on investment while also creating wonderful spaces for local communities. The trick is in taking the time to incorporate elements of the local aesthetic, history, and/or culture and investing in thoughtful design that showcases these unique features. With this approach, people are naturally drawn to certain areas within a city where they can have meaningful experiences and create remarkable memories. This also results in cities that are able to create long-lasting “brands” around neighborhoods or buildings, further adding to their appeal to residents and tourists alike.

The Experience Economy and Art in Placemaking

Heineken Tower at Festival

Aurora-Powered LED Towers For Heineken

Cities, BIAs, BIDs, downtown associations, and property developers that use placemaking as a pillar of community development are able to enhance the communities they build. By entering the experience economy through interactive public art installations, these organizations don’t only provide amazing experiences for community members, they also provide an economic opportunity.

Art is a great way to inspire people and facilitate engaging interactions, but establishing the value of just how much it contributes when it comes to placemaking has been difficult. However, Ryerson University and MASSIVart, a global art consultancy and production agency, are looking to find out what that return on investment (ROI) truly looks like in a new study.

Our years in business have proven to us, and our clients, that art placemaking is beneficial to increase traffic, transform spaces and enhance events by creating memorable experiences. Cultural programming and the inclusion of art in architecture, real estate, and design, and many other alternative areas can transform the sense of community & belonging and contribute to the collective well-being. Art conveys the character of a place, its value, its culture, its identity and narrative.” -MASSIVart (New University Study Will Finally Show The ROI Of Art)

Aesthetic Relaxing Architecture

Blanco Trade Show Booth At IDS 2020

Art installations, especially interactive ones, can help promote awareness and community engagement. They are also highly shareable across social media platforms, increasing a campaign’s exposure. Increased foot traffic often boosts sales, as does creating an experience that encourages passersby to spend more time exploring an area, helping support local businesses nearby. Safety concerns can also be addressed through placemaking, drawing people to particular parts of a city or downtown core.

Increasing ROI Through Interactive Experiences

Aurora | The Giving Tree

Through thoughtful, creative, and interesting design, interactive experiences are able to produce great benefits for communities, businesses, and, ultimately, people. These efforts contribute to a greater ROI for municipalities or business associations, as well as for property developers and other private investors or organizations.

Things like a giving tree set up around the holidays can generate revenue for local charities. Walkthrough experiences like AGORA: Path of Light are also able to generate revenue for a community from ticket sales, while also creating interactive cultural connections.

I can say reviews have been very positive. It was exciting to see the joy across a wide spectrum of demographics, particularly teens and 20-somethings; they’re often harder to impress. Agora is the perfect Covid experience and likely why it was so popular at a time when there was little competition. There was also a ton of advertising and promotion behind the event. Ticket sales were more than double our expectations and contributed positively to ancillary sales at commercial businesses in the Village.” – Patti Kendall, Director of Marketing & Events, Blue Mountain Village Association

How Placemaking Benefits Communities While Boosting ROI

Art Wall made for Belford Properties

Belford Properties Interactive Hoarding

The versatility of interactive art installations can greatly contribute to placemaking in a community or space. Whether it’s an indoor lighting display, an outdoor sound and light walkthrough experience or something in between, the economic benefit of designing and installing interactive experiences is obvious. Besides contributing to the local economy, especially as part of pandemic recovery initiatives, these engaging experiences also contribute to the overall health, happiness, and well-being of a community. 

Placemaking approaches can help boost ROI for cities, business associations, property developers, retailers, and community organizations. It can also ensure that the people who live and work in a community have even more reasons to engage, connect, support, and appreciate the public and private spaces they exist in.

Excited about the potential for placemaking initiatives like these to increase your ROI? Get in touch with us to start planning an engaging interactive experience for your community.

Limbic Media profiled in BC Innovation Council video

Limbic Media was recently recently profiled in a BC Innovation Council video where we get to talk about our company and Aurora™ -the audio-reactive lighting system we are launching later this year. Atagamaton – a motion controlled kinetic instrument we developed with Monkey C Interactive is also featured in the video.

After the video shoot in December we were invited to showcase Aurora™ and the Social Wearables at the sold out inaugural #BCTECH Summit in January. Kudos to the BC Innovation Council – the event was a major success! We’ll definitely be back next year.

Special thanks to Tarah Ferguson (BCIC) for a great interview and to Tahira Endean (BCIC) for helping us showcase our work at the Summit.

Massive Voice Controlled LED Walls + More

Busy times at Limbic Media these days. We have worked on a number of creative and amazing projects over the last few months: A distributed remote controlled air horn instrument (blog post coming soon, we promise), a computer vision/inertial measurement based performance tracking system which will debut at Victoria’s first Circus Festival next April 2-3. Check out our guest blog post, we threw a killer art show “Lux Voluptus II” featuring some incredible digital artists (blog post also coming soon), and we had the pleasure of working with the amazing talented group at HFour from Vancouver to realize 2 massive voice controlled LED walls for the Escapade Music Festival and Heineken in Ottawa.

The response was wicked, we continue to learn that people want to interact, they want to play and participate, they want to meet and connect with each other, they just need an excuse to do it. Art is that excuse.

Check out HFour’s portfolio, pretty impressive. Here are some images of the LED walls:

20150628-heineken-113-1024x681

Audio-reactive Lighting Research

We have been doing some audio-reactive lighting research at Limbic for some upcoming projects this year. Check out this video to see an audio-reactive LED sculpture by new Limbic Media team member Gabrielle Odowichuk followed by an audio-reactive beat-boxing performance by Manj Benning.


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