Mimeisthai – A Spoken-Word Generative Trending Installation [TEDx]

 Premiered at TEDx Sydney 2012

“Mimeisthai is a wonderful hybrid of technology, social media and human curiosity.”
– Neville Brody, D&AD President. 2013 D&AD Awards Top 5 President Picks.


Adfest Grand Prix – Interactive
Adfest Grand Prix – Innovation
Adfest Bronze – Best Use of Social Media
One Show Design Bronze – Data Visualisation
One Show Interactive Finalist – Interaction Design
One Show Entertainment Finalist – Experiential
One Show Entertainment Finalist – Branded Apps
New York Festival Silver – Avante Garde
New York Festival Silver – Event Promo
New York Festival Bronze – Ambient
New York Festival Bronze – Digital Design
New York Festival Finalist – Environmental Design
AWARD Silver – Best Use of Digital in a Promo
AWARD Bronze – Emerging Digital
D&AD In book – Spatial Design – Installations
Cannes Lions Finalist – Cyber
London International Awards Silver – Weird Wonderful Work
London International Awards Silver – Innovative Use of Digital
London International Awards Bronze – Environmental Installations/Displays
Digital Asia Gold – Media Innovation
Digital Asia Silver- Best Use of Social Media
Digital Asia Bronze – Online PR
Spikes Silver – Use of Media
Spikes Finalist – Environmental Design
Spikes Finalist – Other Digital Channels
The FWA Website of the Day

“What Twitter Would Look Like, Without A Laptop Or Smartphone” – Fast Company

Created in the spirit of TED’s mission, “ideas worth spreading,” once a year TEDx Sydney creates a forum designed to give Australian communities, organisations and individuals the opportunity to stimulate dialogue through TED talks.

TEDx wanted their audience to connect with each other to build upon ideas they had heard in the room. Increasingly they found, come their intermission the audiences buried themselves in their smartphone or tablet, not connecting with their peers in the room.

Good ideas don’t come from a lone genius glued to an iPhone tweeting nearly as often as they come from interactions between geniuses. So we created something that took away the encumbrance of the hardware and liberated the fluidity of conversation.

“The World’s First Spoken-Word Trending Engine” – SohoHouse

We turned their 1072 square meter Carriage Works Sydney theatre into a giant, real-time emerging topics trending engine. We installed an array of directional and parabolic mics strategically through the theatre. Each line-out connected directly to a dedicated speech-to-text engine. This took snippets of conversations spoken live from the theatre, and generated a live visualisation portraying ideas as they spread through the audience.

Think twitter, except without the need for a smartphone, laptop or tablet – to trend a topic all you need to do…is speak.

The audience was freed from their devices to converse and build upon the ideas in the room. The visualization generated a live topic feedback-loop on the big screen, and an online hub captured topics for later.

“The Future of Social Media” – HUHMagazine

The taking away of the tangible is happening all around us. In the gaming industry flapping arms and wiggling bums have fast replaced controllers and remotes in home entertainment. This has been described as the era of invisible technology. Whilst gaming is leading the way, Mimeisthai has ensured social is not too far behind. Fast Company recently wrote:

“From mouth to screen, in an instant; no need for a computer or smartphone, the technology is invisible. That might sound a little terrifying to those of us who value that quaint relic of the 20th century called privacy, but…Mimeisthai [is] less of an Orwellian surveillance system than as a way to wed the cold data of social networks to the quick, easy intimacy of face-to-face conversations.

Mimeisthai’s potential lies with social interactions relative to the environment. Whereas the encumbrance of hardware can skew the true nature of free flowing thoughts and ideas, Mimeisthai can be used to disseminate topics in an unbiased format, from visualising the flow of ideas at public forums like TEDx, or reporting on parliamentary legislative discussions, to polling live TV audiences ala [ask the audience on] Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?”

“Prepare to be stopped in your tracks because this is off the hook” – It’s Nice That

“A New Social Era?” – Zé Studio

“Leave it to the Aussies to bring the art of conversation back in to the real world” – Really New Media



About The Technology We UsedJustin James Clayden

The brief was to develop a system that would take sampled conversations from the TEDx 2012 Sydney audience and run them through speech to text algorithms, yielding coherent textual statements which where enter into a system that would eventual transfer these statements to a visualisation, which would display them within a particle swarm.

The back-end for this system was developed in Javascript, within the framework of node.js, a highly performant web server.  Server control pages (for example the pages used to enter the text) where served up using the Express web framework.  Higher-bandwidth streams relied on socket.io and used the xhr-polling transport.  (The server was hosted on heroku.com; it supports this transport.)

The visualisation was *initially written in processing.js, but it was quickly realised that the performance afforded by this was not adequate, and so we switched to using ‘native’ Processing.

The visualisation was a particle swarm, using flocking code sourced from openprocessing.org. We implemented a flocking parameter keyframe system that allowed us to control the look of the swarm at any time in the animation.

As the textual utterances were released, the particles required to display them were ‘borrowed’ from the swarm and were cosine interpolated into their positions, held there for a moment, and then re-interpolated back into the swarm.  We offset the delay of this interpolation so that the letters formed and dissolved one after another.

The visualisation would poll the server at certain periods of time (that could be controlled on the fly to allow us to bring more/fewer in at certain times) and pull down the next utterance to display.

We used 25000 particles, which was just about the limit with which we could achieve an acceptable frame rate of 30fps.

Agency: Clemenger BBDO

Executive Creative Director: Paul Nagy
Installation & Creative Director: James Théophane
Exec. Producer: Denise Mckeon
Producer: Jonathan Gerard
Copywriters: Rees Steel & Joel Hauer
Programming: Justin James Clayden
Data Visualisation: Small Multiples
Sound Design: Anthony Tiernan
User Experience: Claire Alexander
Toby Royce – Online and Animation
Lucas Vazquez – Editor
Anthony Tierman – Sound Designer
Web Development: John Knutsson & Joshua Brown
Infrastructure: Viocorp
Capture: Crystal Rata
IT Infrastructure: Viocorp

Special thanks to all at TEDxSydney and Kyle McDonald for use of “Clouds Are Looming”, an Open Processing engine.

Kyle McDonald works with sounds and codes, exploring translation, contextualization, and similarity. With a background in philosophy and computer science, he strives to integrate intricate processes and structures with accessible, playful realizations that often have a do-it-yourself, open-source aesthetic.

*”Clouds Are Looming” by Kyle McDonald, code used with the permission of the author.

V Live Sugarfree


Print, Ooh

We took a variant from the V energy drink portfolio and re-launched it with a new advertising campaign, “Live Sugarfree”, a celebration of women in a male-dominated category not conforming to candy-girl stereotypes.

The online and print elements take their cues from the product’s stark industrial can design, and futurist manifesto artwork from the influential era.

Kate Banazi, screenprinter for the award-winning Central St Martins campaign from London, was commissioned to develop the series of posters and desktop images.


work @ Clemenger BBDO 


Pepsi Max – Top Mates

Awards: One Show Entertainment [Branded Applications – Merit], FWA [Mobile App of the Week], AIMIA [Best Mobile – Finalist], Proxy Awards [Mobile – Silver].

Recognition: iTunes Top 10, Wired Magazine

Mobile/Social Social Engagement
Males 19 – 26

20 something blokes are spending less time with their mates due to increasing work and relationship commitments. The Pepsi Max Top Mates app gives them the incentive and tools to break away into ‘mate time’.

The app exemplifies two key concepts of progressive digital engagement – ‘utility’ and ‘gamification’. App ‘Stealth Tools’ generate excuses with which users can fend off ‘distractions’. By checking in with each other and tagging activities, users can unlock content, rewards and badges. Users can check their progress against other mates and app users in their ‘Brofile’.

Users activity is amplified to the FB site, seamlessly integrating mobile with social.

The Pepsi Max Top Mates summer promotion also doubles as a launch campaign for the Top Mates app, which is designed to live on permanently as a consumer promotions platform. Pepsi will be able to dynamically generate promotions and reward users for spending time with mates and checking-in.




Creative Director – James Theophane
Producer: John Mclean
Craft: Tim Mcpherson
UX: Claire Alexander
Art Director – Kat Jarrett
Copywriter – Nik Spadina

Download from iTunes

work @ Clemenger BBDO

Virgin Australia All New A330

The online demo brings to life the essence of Virgin Australia by showing off their stylish new planes. 

In an Australian first, we built a 360° live action interactive demo using a navigational grid inspired by Buckminster Fuller’s Dymaxion map projection.

View demo online

Platforms: iPad, Web
Channels: Earned, Owned
Strategy: Product Demo


Creative Director – James Theophane/Luke Chess
Art Director – Seb Vizor
Copywriter – Josh Braithwaite 

work @ Clemenger BBDO


Vivid Festival Sydney. Projections & Panel Discussions


So I did a talk and participated in a panel discussion for  Vivid Festival at the Sydney Opera House today. Waren Armstrong of (Un)seen Sculptors, Fabian Riggall founder of Secret Cinema and Future Shorts, myself and Dr Tim Barker from iCinema set about discussing exploring the merits of installation art, transmedia and experiential. French art and design collective Superbien put together an amazing lightshow. All for Creative Sydney.

The Annoying Orange – Chatterboxing

We wanted to give Nokia owners immediate gratification for activating Chat (Nokia’s Instant Messaging services)… So we invented Chatterboxing; a whole new gaming genre for mobile phones.

Audience: Social Media Teen Influencer

James Théophane & Laura Hunter

Annoying Orange Chatterboxing:  A global Instant Messaging device-only game in which players pit their fingers against a quick-witted, intelligent and cheeky chat-bot: The Annoying Orange.  Players are challenged to out spa the Chatterboxing Champion of Chat in IM. For every successful put-down, cuss or phrase unlocked, the player receives points, unlocks badges and is rewarded with a prizes.  The more the player chats, the more points they win.  The player with the most points globally is crowned the Chatterboxing champ. Weekly and monthly prizes are given away to the top ten players globally and locally.


Campaign assets: 


Nokia homepage takeover – Let’s get read to rumblllllllllllle…
Upon landing on the homepage the Nokia devices surprisingly come to life introducing to main characters, the Master of Ceremonies, and The Annoying Orange. The MC introduces Annoying Orange ala Madison Square Gardens…


The campaign destination hosts the global game; Leagues. Top scorers. Country v County. Stats, badges and prizes…


On Device Ring/Viztones and on device theme…

Marketing Objective: Build awareness and excitement around Nokia IM Services.

Chatterboxing (chat·ter·bok’sin) 
n. The act of talking shit. Spitting off. Running of the mouth.
v. “All these hoes be chatterboxing.”  

work @ R/GA 

Nokia E7- The Ultimate Business Smartphone

Standard, longform-product-porn ad introducing Nokia’s E7 youtube channel.
Results: Over 1m plays. 1/2m likes, 40 dislikes.

OMG E7 is sooooo sexy :X zprockart 2 months ago 34
nokia is suck !!! carlos19RKS10 2 weeks ago
Simply amazing! Nokia is back! mcloysapoksy 3 weeks ago
The interface is a bit ugly. I don’t like the USB function. But it seems the good outweights the bad KiyokaMakibi 3 weeks ago


work @ R/GA

Nokia – A Smart Choice


The Task: Position Nokia as the Smart Choice in emerging markets by bringing excitement and desire back to the brand. Showcasing features and services in one package.

Campaign POV: We believe that life doesn’t have to be ordinary, that everyone should be able to grab opportunities and make life extraordinary right now. 

3D Music App
The user downloads a music track specially created for Nokia by the leading artist in each market. The track comprises of say 10 channels (instruments and vocals). The user shares the track via the app with friends. The track separates itself into 10 streams simultaneously broadcasting from each phone. Using the device speakers the users have just created an immersive 3D sound experience to impress their party friends.


Voice Modulator
Creating, remixing and sharing voice modulator music using only a straw, cellotape, a Nokia Device and a simple app. Record, rate and share your masterpiece. Allow others to resample your work. Collaborate with other users to create “remixes”. Use social networks to collaborate, share and brag.


A Neo-Postal game. Playing against the world chess master is a daunting task. But what if you had the world on your side, could you win? The game crowd sources the best next move. be a part of it and pit your wits against and beat the world champion. It’s You & The World Vs Visnanathan Anand. Invite your friends, use a predefined digital hierarchical command structure and challenge the world’s best. MMORG Chess uses the power of your social networks and connections to empower you to make the best move.


Online advertising


Live action MPU


Device skins


Online property


work @ R/GA