Recess IRL

Pop-up shops in NYC move at incredible pace leading up to their opening. Typically, a client will have the space available for buildout less than a month before it is open to the public, even more often it is only a matter of hours or days. Recess IRL was beautifully designed by Day Job, but noticeably without a lighting treatment which is where Low Res stepped in. Low Res was added to the project by the team at Guest Star, with whom we collaborated, in addition to Day Job, to create a visually compelling and visually similar interpretation of the colorful Recess brand. 

Prior to Recess, Low Res had focused on creating darkness within a space. As a friend would say, we’re shadow designers not lighting designers. Our goal with Recess IRL was multifaceted. Create a space that is bright, but not white like a retail store. The brand language used by Recess is fun, bright, and colorful. Consequently, the store needed to represent that in every aspect. The usual factors of limited time and budget meant reusing fixtures and being creative with the ones we brought in. 

In addition to lighting, we also provided technical direction for running video content on 3 tvs and one projector. The tv’s needed to appear as though the content flowed from one tv to the next, which meant running the content from a single source. The goal was to provide a solution that allowed the tv’s to be turned off nightly and turned on without the content appearing disjointed. It also meant the looping video couldn’t stutter on reloop. Because we also added a projector to the mix, and couldn’t just put it in the middle of the room, we would need to apply some projection mapping so that the projected picture looked square. That’s not all the computer would need to do, we also had pixel lights included in the space that would need to run a gradient. This led us to MadMapper, the software allowed for projection mapping, content looping, and pixel mapping, all in a single software, on a single computer.

We placed a few up-lights and made it all work nonstop for eight months instead of the originally planned 3 months. In retrospect, we think the whole production turned out very nicely. We surpassed many of our goals and look forward to the next popup to take advantage of the information gleaned as well as enabling us to create an even more engaging experience through the use of light and technology.

Lighting Design: Low Res
Lighting Programming: Low Res
Technical Direction: Low Res
Project Management: Guest Star
Interior Design: Day Job