Discovery Wall - Weill Cornell Medical College

2,800 lenses communicate medical research with ever changing images

Squint/Opera as Other

A UK-designed, wall-sized digital artwork created from thousands of tiny screens and lenses forms the centrepiece of a major new biomedical research centre just opened in New York. From the London-based creative agencies Squint/Opera and Hirsch&Mann, the shimmering and animated foyer installation celebrates the work of the new $650m Belfer Research Building, part of Weill Cornell Medical College (WCMC) in Manhattan.


The large-scale digital installation (approx 4.6m x 2.7m) comprises 2800 mini screens set in a grid pattern behind a panel of thousands of circular acrylic discs – a reference to the lenses used in medical research. The dual layer construction makes it possible to read the wall from a distance as a single image, and then, up close, each screen has information about medical discoveries and other news from WCMC’s website. The images and stories will be changing constantly.


Squint/Opera and Hirsch&Mann won the commission for the wall in an international competition. Along with celebrating the support of the building’s donors, the installation has been created to promote the research and discoveries made in the building. In addition, it was designed as an intriguing and beautiful object to be viewed close up in the lobby or seen from outside the building.


To bring the concept to life, every aspect of the hardware was designed from scratch.


The project team comprised Squint/Opera, which provided the creative direction and project management, Hirsch&Mann which led the technology design, production and delivery, and The Cross Kings who led the physical detail design. Fabrication in Boston was completed by Design Communications Limited. The team also worked closely with the building’s designer, New-York-based Ennead Architects.

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