Feature Image

Reunion Tower

At a glance
Reunion Tower has been an icon of the Dallas skyline since the seventies. In need of a refresh, the world renowned architectural firm, Gensler was brought on board as the interior designer. Stimulant was brought on board to help realize their vision for digitally enhanced interactive environments in the lobby, GeO-Deck, and Cloud9, the 5-star restaurant at the top.
What I did
As art director and the only visual designer for this project, I played many roles. Mainly, I was ultimately responsible for all of the look and feel and animation. I also worked closely with our UX designer, our internal stakeholders, and the client to develop the concept and to insure our work integrated with the interior design that was being design simultaneously. I also directed the developers during the build phase and collaborated with photographers and video teams.
Year
2016
Client
Reunion Tower
Skills
Art Direction, Visual Design, UI Design, 3D, Motion
Reunion Tower

The Geo-deck

At a Glance
There are two Halos on the GeO-Deck, allowing for up to 30 concurrent users. The Halos feature 3D generative backgrounds that respond to both touch and movement throughout the space. The Halos support a variety of content including interactive 3D models and photos of Dallas landmarks, zoomable interactive gigapixel panoramas of the view out any window, control of HD cameras mounted outside the tower for exploring the city in detail, custom-curated maps, a unique video about the JFK assassination (which occurred hundreds of yards from the tower), and an interactive simulation of the tower’s famous light shows. Each display is calibrated for its unique position around the circumference of the floor and provides an experience tailored to its particular orientation, though all content is available from any station.The GeO-Deck is an observation level, 470 feet up, where visitors can get their first taste of the wide expanse of the Texas landscape. We designed and developed a reactive and interactive experience called the Halo, an arc of 15 seamlessly-integrated displays linked together to create a massive 60-foot-wide interactive surface.
What i Did
I designed the overall look and feel for the attract state and all 5 sections of the Halo. I worked closely with the Gensler design team to incorporate the look of the physical space into the digital experience so the overall guest experience would feel seamless and completely integrated.
The Geo-deck

The Halo

The Halo was an interactive and reactive sea of tessellated triangles that spanned 30 feet long.
Process

Mood Board

This mood board was inspired by both the interior design of the space and the exterior of the tower. Gensler's interior design used geometric shapes and tessellated triangles throughout. The images in the mood board were chosen to serve as inspiration for the UI and background landscape of the interface.
Process

Testing and Prototyping

Before directing the developer, I conducted a ton of testing for background and the spherical menu using a combination Cinema 4D and After Effects. The menu's form was inspired by the iconic Reunion Tower sphere and would open and close on touch. When opened, a set of 5 icons would appear. Each icon represents a unique experience that can be explored by visitors to learn more about Dallas and the surrounding area. Below are some tests that helped guide the development. In the final build, the sea of spheres was generated dynamically and would ripple when touched.
The Geo-deck

Zoom!!!

The section on the Halo called "Zoom!!!" (yes, 3 exclamation points) allowed visitors to pan and zoom a 360° giga-pixel image of Dallas taken from the top of the tower, they could also take control of 1 of 5 high-definition live cameras mounted on the exterior of the tower to look around the city in real time.
Process

basic redline

I created a quick and dirty story board to share what I was thinking for the animations. This is just one of many examples I created for our developers.
The Geo-deck

Dallas Landmarks

The Dallas Landmarks experience allows visitors to visit area landmarks virtually. With a tap of the finger, you are flown from the tower, to the landmark of your choice and are shown where it's located in relation to the Reunion Tower.
The Geo-deck

From Here to There

This experience allowed visitors to explore a map with even more points of interest. If you look closely in the video, you'll notice that the design of the map mirrors the carpet of the interior of the space.
The Geo-deck

November 22, 1963 — JFK Video

November 22, 1963 was the day JFK was assassinated. The horrific event occurred about 50 yards from the base of the tower. The video features never released footage and interviews with one of the last living secret service agents that rode with the president that day. I both created the UI for the video and art directed l.Inc Design, the studio that produced the video.
The Geo-deck

High Lights

The Reunion Tower was know for having a variety of light shows to compliment events that occur, such as Valentine' Day, Christmas, and sporting events. We wanted to bring some of that into our app. High Lights is a fun experience that allows visitors to create their own light shows by simply touching the screen. Using 1- 10 fingers creates different lighting affects on a 3D model of the tower. If you add another person, you'll get even more light shows and we even added an easter egg for when a total of 20 fingers were detected.
Process

Lighting Map

The lighting engineer for the tower provided us with a schematic (shown below) to show how their lights were wired. We used this data to create our lighting sequences.
Process

Testing the touches

The below video shows all the light shows variations.
Process

Proof of Concept Models

Early versions of the lights on the tower built in Cinema 4D.
Reunion Tower

Big Sky at Cloud 9 Restaurant

At a Glance
Cloud 9, is a futuristic bar and lounge serving Texas-themed food and cocktails from Wolfgang Puck. The “Big Sky” is a digital installation on the ceiling, combining abstract steel clouds, dynamic LED lighting, and 17 HD screens that comprise a massive-scale abstract weather simulation. Stimulant’s experience for these displays treats guests to a continuously-changing surrealistic view of Dallas weather, rendered in real time. As the simulation cycles through different times of day and various weather patterns, color changes are triggered throughout the entire ceiling. Each moment is unique and married seamlessly to the architecture and design of the space.
What i Did
I produced 3D renderings and concept art to establish the direction for the Big Sky piece. I also helped fine tune the final look and feel on site in real time.
Process

Prototyping Big SKy

The concept was that while sitting at your table, you can look up through a faceted glass ceiling. Originally we were going to use realtime weather data to determine what you see above, but the weather in Dallas doesn't change often enough, so we opted to use a timer for a more dramatic affect. Below are a couple of the 3D and motion tests that I made to explore what Big Sky could look like.
Jules Konig
My name is Jules Konig and I'm a Senior Product Designer living and working in Bellevue, WA. I'm currently working for an EdTech startup named Section4. At Section4, I am helping to build an amazing learning community and learning platform for our students.

My Design Background
My career started in the San Francisco Bay Area in the early 2000's, where I was focused primarily on designing online retail web-based experiences for brands like The North Face, JanSport, and Timberland.

Later, I joined the growing team at Stimulant, a boutique design and development agency that specialized in proof of concept work and location-based experiences. As Art Director and Visual Design Lead at Stimulant, I  designed user interfaces for next generation hardware and software, mobile and desktop apps, and tons of other location specific experiences that incorporated vision and proximity sensors to enhance the user experience.

If I sound like a good fit for your team, I'm always open to learning more about freelance and full-time opportunities.

Expertise

UI/UX Design
Visual Design
Art Direction
Design Leadership
Design Strategy
Prototyping
Brand Extension
Visual Branding
Problem Solving

Favorite Tools

Figma
Illustrator
Photoshop
Webflow
After Effects
Premiere Pro
HTML/CSS
Pen & Paper

Full client list

Adobe
Barnes & Noble
The Brand Experience
Design Within Reach
Exelon
Focused
Foghorn Creative
Genentech
Gensler
GM
Google
The Hettema Group
Honeywell
HP
Intel
Jackson Family Wines
JanSport
Kodak
Leapfrog
l.inc design
McKesson
Microsoft
Microsoft Research
MOHAI
The North Face
Obscura Digital
Olson Kundig Architects
One Liberty Place
One World Observatory
Quintiles
Reebok
Reunion Tower
Samsung
SAP
Schwab
Sifteo
The Space Needle
Timberland
VMWare
WorkFlowy

Experience

2021 - Present
Remote
Section4
As a Senior Product Designer I am leading the product design team and helping build the learning and membership platform for both consumer and enterprise customers. I create future vision concepts and prototypes to help direct the future of the product. I partner with the Head of Product to define the product roadmap. I continually work to improve the user experience through user and stakeholder interviews. I've implemented our design system from scratch, and moved the product team to Figma. I've instituted a system to ensure efficiency from concept to developer handoff. I'm working cross functionally with many teams in the org to get oodles of things done, from product, to course assets, all while going through a company rebrand. I'm also representing the product team on the rebrand effort.
2015 - 2021
Bellevue, Wa
Independent Contractor
As an independent contractor I've worked on a wide variety of projects, from mobile and desktop apps to museum exhibits and interactive experiences for corporate lobbies.
2016 - Present
Rio Hondo College
Advisory Board Member
As an Advisory Board Member for Rio Hondo College's Design department, I provide my expertise in the field of Art Direction and UI Design.
2008 - 2016
San Francisco, CA + Seattle, WA
Stimulant
As both Art Director and Visual Design Lead I was responsible for the visual development and execution across multiple interactive projects. I combined visual brand and audience needs into visually rich and immersive interactions and experiences. Supervised and directed junior designers. Reviewed work to insure quality, appropriateness, and consistency for client brands across all deliverables. Established the look and feel for a wide variety of interfaces, including web and desktop apps, mobile devices, kiosks, and games. I designed user-centered interaction models, wireframes, storyboards, and screen mockups. Closely collaborated with Developers and business teams to solve complex UX issues. Produced email marketing, presentation materials and pitch documents. Juggled multiple projects while effectively managing timelines and expectations.
2005 - 2007
San Francisco, CA
Fluid
As Creative Director I established the design direction for rich eCommerce websites, product finders and product customizers, in-store kiosks, and digital campaigns. I presented design work to clients and stakeholders, provided feedback and direction to creative team and produced red lines and style guides to help keep development on point.
1999 - 2001
San Francisco, CA
Scenic Industry
I designed brand-centric interactive sites and tools for large and medium sized clients.
1997 - 1999
San Francisco, CA
Fireplug Labs
Was brought on as a design intern out of college and after a few months was hired as a full timer. I mostly created print and web design work for social marketing and played a lot of ping pong.

Awards & Recognition

Horizon Interactive Awards
Gold
2017
FWA
FWA of the Day
2016
Event Marketers Awards
Gold
2013
Event Design Awards
Gold
2013
Gold
2013
IxDA Design Awards
Best in Show & Best in Category
2012
Communicator Awards
Gold & Silver
2012