UCLA’s ‘Moment of Reflection’ wins top national honor

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The challenge was daunting. Create an art-based experience that could help aid people’s collective renewal as we entered year three of the COVID-19 pandemic.

It was the type of challenge especially befitting Bruins. The resulting project — UCLA’s “Moment of Reflection,” an 18-foot by 18-foot artificial intelligence-powered data sculpture that displayed wavelike forms shape-shifting into explosions of brilliant colors that danced to the sounds of the sea all in campus’s Franklin D. Murphy Sculpture Garden — brought thousands of people out to contemplate how COVID-19 had affected their lives.

To recognize the brilliance of this one-of-a-kind project, Event Marketer magazine honored UCLA with gold in the Best Pandemic-era Design category in its 2022 Experience Design & Technology Awards.

“The campaign ultimately allowed the UCLA community to come together for an emotional experience that connected them to nature, and more importantly, one another,” the magazine wrote. UCLA worked closely with the experiential marketing agency Manifold on “Moment of Reflection.”

On the evening of April 19, months of hard work and creativity culminated when 1,000 people gathered at the opening ceremony as UCLA unveiled the installation.

“There are times when the language of art can speak to us most deeply,” UCLA Chancellor Gene Block said as he addressed those gathered for the opening ceremony. “It can allow us to hear what is in our hearts, and it can help us understand what we need in order to heal.”

Read more on UCLA Newsroom.