Media Installation and Touch Stations

Understory at The Spheres: Immersive Visitor Experience

Client and Venue:

Amazon, The Spheres, Seattle Headquarters

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Client and Venue:

Amazon, The Spheres, Seattle Headquarters

Browse:

interactives

The Spheres is the latest addition to Amazon’s downtown Seattle headquarters. The innovative building offers employees a work environment that’s more like a rainforest than an office. To properly explain this groundbreaking new building, Amazon set out to establish a free, public visitor center at The Spheres, called Understory.

Amazon assembled an accomplished team of local Seattle companies to design the exhibit space. The group included Graham Baba Architects, exhibit designer Studio Matthews, media experience designer Belle & Wissell, Jill Randerson Exhibit Management, filmmaker The Radisch, Co. (and Strangelife), fabricator Dillon Works, and a/v integrator Whitlock.

The name Understory refers to the lush habitat between the rainforest floor and canopy, and provides a fully immersive, 360-degree experience where visitors can get up close and personal with the science, engineering, and plants behind The Spheres.

At a central media installation designed by Belle & Wissell, visitors can take in sweeping interior views of The Spheres above, as well as stunning macro footage of its world-class plant collection. The experience is composed of a large curved LED display, surrounded by LED columns at regular intervals. Interpretive zones within—demarcated by pools of light and featuring directional audio—offer voiceover descriptions of the plants on view. A generative soundscape, composed by Jesse Solomon Clark, enhances the experience.

Five modular exhibits, situated throughout Understory, offer more information about Amazon, The Spheres, and the world-class plant collection within. Each station features an engaging physical interactive (designed by Studio Matthews) as well as a touchscreen interactive (designed by Belle & Wissell)—presenting unique topics through a playful interface, encouraging further discovery.

Project Accolades:

CBS News “‘You can’t be afraid to think big’: Inside Amazon’s Spheres,” 2018
USA Today “What’s inside Amazon’s glass Spheres? Hundreds of cool plants, hundreds of employees,” 2018
U.S. News
 “Striking Amazon ‘Spheres’ Landmark Opens in Downtown Seattle,” 2018
Bloomberg Technology “Inside Amazon’s Giant Spheres, Where Workers Chill in a Mini Rainforest,” 2018
The New York Times “Forget Beanbag Chairs. Amazon Is Giving Its Workers Treehouses,” 2016
The Seattle Times “Go Inside the Amazon Spheres. Here’s How,” 2018
King 5 News “Amazon’s urban oasis ‘The Spheres’ unveiled,” 2018
KOMO News “Get a look inside the Amazon Spheres next week,” 2018
Curbed Seattle “Amazon Spheres public visitor center opens January 30,” 2018

Belle & Wissell Team Credits

Principal: Gabe Kean
Studio Producer: Sarah Trueblood
Creative Director: Thomas Ryun
Technology Lead: Edward Tang
Art Director: Eric Harvey
Senior Designer: Edrea Lita
Content Dev’t Manager: Natalie Karbelnig
Senior Developer: Scott Thiessen
Music Composer: Jesse Solomon Clarke
Quality Assurance Engineer: Siarhei Bokach

Additional Project Credits

Exhibit Architect: Graham Baba Architects
Exhibit Designer:
Studio Matthews
Exhibit Management: Jill Randerson Exhibit Management
Film Production: The Radisch, Co.
Film Director & Editor: John Jeffcoat
Film Producer: Lisa Farnham
Director of Photography: Doug Hostetter
Film Production Manager: Kelsey Graves
Media Engine Partner:
Andrew Salviejo (YCD Multimedia)
A/V Systems Design and Integration: Keith Sawka, Zach Cook (Whitlock)
Fabricator: Dillon Works
Mechanical Engineer: Arup
Lighting Designer: Niteo

Belle & Wissell Team Credits

Principal: Gabe Kean
Studio Producer: Sarah Trueblood
Creative Director: Thomas Ryun
Technology Lead: Edward Tang
Art Director: Eric Harvey
Senior Designer: Edrea Lita
Content Dev’t Manager: Natalie Karbelnig
Senior Developer: Scott Thiessen
Music Composer: Jesse Solomon Clarke
Quality Assurance Engineer: Siarhei Bokach

Additional Project Credits

Exhibit Architect: Graham Baba Architects
Exhibit Designer:
Studio Matthews
Exhibit Management: Jill Randerson Exhibit Management
Film Production: The Radisch, Co.
Film Director & Editor: John Jeffcoat
Film Producer: Lisa Farnham
Director of Photography: Doug Hostetter
Film Production Manager: Kelsey Graves
Media Engine Partner:
Andrew Salviejo (YCD Multimedia)
A/V Systems Design and Integration: Keith Sawka, Zach Cook (Whitlock)
Fabricator: Dillon Works
Mechanical Engineer: Arup
Lighting Designer: Niteo

The Spheres is the latest addition to Amazon’s downtown Seattle headquarters. The innovative building offers employees a work environment that’s more like a rainforest than an office. To properly explain this groundbreaking new building, Amazon set out to establish a free, public visitor center at The Spheres, called Understory.

Amazon assembled an accomplished team of local Seattle companies to design the exhibit space. The group included Graham Baba Architects, exhibit designer Studio Matthews, media experience designer Belle & Wissell, Jill Randerson Exhibit Management, filmmaker The Radisch, Co. (and Strangelife), fabricator Dillon Works, and a/v integrator Whitlock.

The name Understory refers to the lush habitat between the rainforest floor and canopy, and provides a fully immersive, 360-degree experience where visitors can get up close and personal with the science, engineering, and plants behind The Spheres.

At a central media installation designed by Belle & Wissell, visitors can take in sweeping interior views of The Spheres above, as well as stunning macro footage of its world-class plant collection. The experience is composed of a large curved LED display, surrounded by LED columns at regular intervals. Interpretive zones within—demarcated by pools of light and featuring directional audio—offer voiceover descriptions of the plants on view. A generative soundscape, composed by Jesse Solomon Clark, enhances the experience.

Five modular exhibits, situated throughout Understory, offer more information about Amazon, The Spheres, and the world-class plant collection within. Each station features an engaging physical interactive (designed by Studio Matthews) as well as a touchscreen interactive (designed by Belle & Wissell)—presenting unique topics through a playful interface, encouraging further discovery.

Project Accolades:

CBS News “‘You can’t be afraid to think big’: Inside Amazon’s Spheres,” 2018
USA Today “What’s inside Amazon’s glass Spheres? Hundreds of cool plants, hundreds of employees,” 2018
U.S. News
 “Striking Amazon ‘Spheres’ Landmark Opens in Downtown Seattle,” 2018
Bloomberg Technology “Inside Amazon’s Giant Spheres, Where Workers Chill in a Mini Rainforest,” 2018
The New York Times “Forget Beanbag Chairs. Amazon Is Giving Its Workers Treehouses,” 2016
The Seattle Times “Go Inside the Amazon Spheres. Here’s How,” 2018
King 5 News “Amazon’s urban oasis ‘The Spheres’ unveiled,” 2018
KOMO News “Get a look inside the Amazon Spheres next week,” 2018
Curbed Seattle “Amazon Spheres public visitor center opens January 30,” 2018