Futurecity developed a public art and placemaking strategy for a new leisure centre and swimming pool in Lewisham, London, UK. As part of a suite of ideas artist Phil Coy was commissioned to develop a physical intervention and response to the large glass façade, which wraps around Based on Dazzle Camouflage Razzle DazzleBoogie Woogie is a grid of square or 'pixelated' glass panels in a pattern of ten corporate colours that suggest a low-resolution digital screen spanning the façade of the building. Integrated into this ‘screen’ are backlit LED luminaries, microphones and custom software that react to and reflect the soundscape of the Borough of Lewisham.
A palette of 1,800 glass ‘pixels’ form a multi-coloured grid across the vast curved façade. The grid is backlit, fitted with sensors and through computer programming, responds to the level of external sound, from traffic noise to the human voice, creating a night façade in constant modulation. Glass Mill won the Best Built Project-Community Scale in 2014 for ‘its transformational impact on the wider area, benefits to the local community, design and ingenuity’.
Versions of Dazzle Camouflage were designed by artists during WW1 and WW2 including the Vorticist artist Edward Wadsworth to help protect ships from attack. In contrast to camouflage that aims to blend with contextual elements in order to disrupt our depth perception Dazzle Camouflage is disorderly and creates distinctions between each element making it hard to differentiate between any one element within the design.
Phil Coy’s work explores the languages, materiality and histories of representation often feeding back the structural processes involved in making work into its presentation. The cultural strategy also set out ideas for creative industry spaces and a commission for a second artist Martin Richmann to design a kinetic artwork for the new energy centre.