Coke's New World of Op Art

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For Atlanta's New World of Coca-Cola—the recently opened tourist attraction that succeeds the World of Coca-Cola, which made its debut in 1990 and closed in April—the New York-based curating agency Formavision supplied some globally fizzy art. The central space of Coke's New World, called The Hub, features a large-scale mural created in a collaboration with design studio Plus et Plus, which, according to Formavision founder Sebastien Agneessens, is an abstract projection of the earth, inspired in part by the cartography of Galileo and Copernicus. If this map-like connection seems less than apparent at first glance, Agneessens notes that The Hub is "all curves, which made it an interesting challenge. We decided to play with this constraint by integrating some Op Art qualities into the work, very much in the style of Victor Vasarely," the late Op pioneer.

"Then we thought about what kind of shapes we could play with to make it relevant for Coke." This being, after all, the "I'd like to teach the world to sing . . . " corporation, "we came up with words, which then became words in different alphabets." After further experimentation, the words became a map, and "the curvature of the walls recalled the multiple techniques used in map projections, which consist of transforming the globe into a flat surface," Agneessens explains. "We used our own projection method, which is mostly poetic and abstract, but when you tell people that what they're looking at is a map, they totally see it and they're able to place their country on the map." The overall effect of the design, he adds, is an expression of Coke's fundamental optimism.

In addition, Formavision designed Coke's glowingly futuristic Taste It! product sampling lab, where some 70 brands are available for the sipping at a series of geographically arranged tasting stations. This room features a collaboration with French illustrators Antoine & Manuel, whose pop-schematics-style murals, and videos (the latter developed with digital media studio Tronic) present an anything but dry narrative of the planet's water cycle.

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