Tree Canopy

WHERE: Leeds Hospital, UK
WHEN: 1st March 2009
CLIENT: Yorkshire Cancer Centre

We created an immersive sound and light installation in the Children’s Radiotherapy Unit waiting room where bird song and moving image were cast onto the ceiling. The children were able to select different compositions of tree canopies together with a bird song.

The main part of the commission is a 360 degree projection system for the Treatment Room. Children and young adults spend between 5 and 45 minutes laying still on a hard surface without any visual stimulus. Many patients listen to music during treatment to put them at ease and also provide a sense of time passing.

The projection system will respond to the music being played in the room by rendering it into changing seasons of coloured lights and moving shadows. The visuals combine illustrated artwork with material shot with our 360 degree camera. The setup will also include a dedicated music library with selected music and field recordings for patients to draw on. After research all the 360 cameras that I could find on the market, I picked the 360fly 4k for our projection system.

To extend the installation into other areas of the unit we created static designs based on the projected artwork for a number of ceiling panels.

Detailed Design

We created a 360 degree projection system using a DLP Video Projector in combination with a mirrored dome to be installed on the ceiling of the Treatment Room just above the entrance. The system will allow us to project on almost all surfaces of the space to create a fully immersive visual field. The projection will be created by a specially developed sound responsive animation software running on a miniature computer also installed on the ceiling.

Our intervention will create a calm space to imagine, dream and wonder. It could evoke the sensation of peering up at the canopy of a forest or diving in a magical underwater world. By making the system responsive to sound the patient’s music selection will affect the overall look and feel of the space and synchronise both the visual and audible layer into a powerful whole.