At the end of last year, H&M unveiled its newly redesigned flagship store on London's Regent Street, featuring cutting-edge, generative artwork displayed on a double 4k resolution LED screen from Leyard Europe. One of Europe’s largest indoor LED screens, it was installed by London-based LEDTek Solutions. The LED screen, which frames a set of escalators and fills the entire rear wall of the store, has been designed to showcase a series of progressive and stylish digital materials that complement the aesthetic of the brand and act as an extension of the H&M’s elevated architecture, encouraging people to enter the store when seen from afar.
Created by London-based design and technology studio Hirsch & Mann in collaboration with H&M and with the support of the Creative Coding company Variable, this unique system continuously evolves throughout the day by responding to customer activity on the escalator. This constant live generation of materials results in unexpected, beautiful and dynamic visuals dancing across the 4200 pixel wide by 3536 pixel high (10.5m x 9.5m) 2.5mm Leyard LED screen in rich double 4K detail.
“The artwork’s materials have been curated to be highly glossy in their aesthetic, allowing them to reflect lighting and colours of digital environments within their 3D scene, as well as have more depth,” explains Daniel Hirschmann, CEO at Hirsch & Mann. “Their appeal is also in their ability to behave as a physical fabric might do when manipulated in real life, with the virtual, directional wind within the 3D scene allowing the partly-floating curated materials to gently move by default, and to become more dynamic every time an H&M customer uses the store escalators to move between the ground and the first floor.”
Hirschmann further notes that as customers move up and down the escalator, a series of 3D depth cameras attached to the store’s ceiling track each person’s position on the escalators, creating the effect of ripples and folds on the material behind the person, like a trail. “This subtle reaction to people’s presence creates a fun moment of surprise and acknowledges customers by passively inviting them to leave an ephemeral mark on the canvas,” he adds.
Additionally, when more than three people use the escalator simultaneously and are standing in close proximity, the system smartly interprets their presence as a collective which can manipulate the material as a single force, further adding to H&M’s customers’ experience.
The artwork’s flexible content management system allows for various modes to be showcased on the Leyard LED canvas throughout the week. These can range from subtle grey and pink shades during weekdays to shiny silver and golden hues on Friday evenings giving “a chance to celebrate the start of the weekend with a larger number of customers in the store,” says Hirschmann.
The system also caters for quick and easy updates to the generative artwork through its live schedule and allows the H&M team to perform LED canvas takeovers through their content management system. This is especially useful for new campaigns or other special content is released and needs to be showcased on the large LED screen for a particular timeframe.
“We are thrilled to see our LED solution as the centre piece at H&M’s flagship store in one of the world’s most prestigious lifestyle destinations – London’s Regent Street,” says Leyard Europe’s Luke Marler-Hausen. “We were approached with a unique set of challenges that suited our products perfectly. The wall also had to be installed in a very tight space which was less than 30cm from the wall to the escalators, so it needed to be bright, to be delivered in a very short time span and be super dependable.
“Our AT Series was the clear winner here. It boasts a depth of only 29.5mm utilising the very latest in LED technology that we also manufacture in Slovakia here in the EU. It uses a fanless design with remote ‘hot swap’ power supplies enabling seamless operation with very few moving parts. We are so confident in the product that we backed it with a lifetime warranty!”
All of these technology advancements deployed at the display reduced the instore power requirements, supporting H&M’s green ethos which Leyard are also fully committed to whilst delivering a stunning visual display in the centre of London.
“We successfully delivered the screens ahead of the time, despite a very tight timeline,” continues Marler-Hausen. “This was made possible by Leyard Europe’s manufacturing base in Slovakia, which was further utilised by our customer, artists and design team, enabling them to visit and see first- hand before deployment. Previously. a long trip to China would make this a challenge and increased project risk. So, the ability to check before deployment on such a flagship store was really valuable. This project has enabled us to demonstrate our ability to manufacture and custom fabricate locally in Europe on a huge scale, which is now being proven.”
“We really enjoyed the collaborative spirit of this project and are pleased to see such great result, with both the client and the H&M visitors loving the generative artwork LED screen. The artwork is both a dynamic piece of evolving visuals that create an immersive experience and, at the same time, a platform for future artworks and artists to be invited to express themselves on a beautiful ultra-high-definition LED display!”
CEO, Hirsch & Mann
LED Video Wall
Ultra-flat (29.5mm) LED displays in pixel pitches from 0.9 to 1.8mm
Select Leyard Europe LED video wall displays come with the Leyard Europe® EverCare™ Lifetime Limited Warranty, which means everything from the sub-pixels to the controller is covered for as long as the video wall is used in a fixed location.