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© Christian Hergarten

Together with Mutabor and Hottner Lichtwerbung, we realized a reactive light installation for Deutsche Telekom at Cologne Bonn Airport. Our services included systems design, light programming, computer vision for car tracking and providing a playout module for the LED. 

With the company’s headquarters just a few miles away, a plot near a busy access road to Cologne Bonn Airport serves as a visual touchpoint for Deutsche Telekom. In 2010, the existing installation was redesigned by Mutabor. The creatives picked us as the preferred partner for technical design, planning and programming.

Together, we developed the interactive installation “Take-Off”. It reacts to approaching cars, triggering colourful waves of light running along the construction. Being landmark, playful intervention and classic brand display at the same time, “Take-Off” unites the CI of Deutsche Telekom with the aesthetics of the airport’s runways lying ahead.

225 individually controlled digits are evenly spread over a 25 meters long, ascending strip. A software running on a high-performance computer on site translates the tracked movement of cars into commands for the digits and initiates the animated flow of colour. Thanks to this interactive trigger, the installation is only actived when audience is in sight and otherwise remains in an energy saving idle mode. The control system runs on as little as 40 Watts.

LED Digits by Hottner Lichtdesign © Christian Hergarten

With a planned run-time of up to 10 years, we aimed at a failsafe, durable solution easy to maintain. All infrastructure we had at hand at this particular spot was power and 3G Internet.

We created a detailed 3D visualisation of the spatial situation and then designed all elements tailored precicely to their application. By gathering video footage beforehand, we could develop all interaction patterns based on real data and translate it into a powerful protoytpe.

© Christian Hergarten
© Christian Hergarten
© Christian Hergarten

Behind the scenes

Simulation software for the computer vision and animation sequence controlling one Luxo desk lamp (instead of the LED cubes on site).

© MESO Digital Interiors GmbH

Setting up the final camera for the car tracking system and nightly software implementation for the on-site LED.

© Christian Hergarten
© MESO Digital Interiors GmbH

Curious about our approach? Feel free to get in touch!

Max Wolf Partner +49 69 24 000 322 +49 69 24 000 322

MESO Digital Interiors GmbH
Gutleutstr. 96 . 60329 Frankfurt . Germany


Ben Schiek, Max Wolf, Sebastian Oschatz