Company NewsJuly 20, 2023

Obsessed with The Sphere? Rediscover Urban Renaissance

With The Sphere taking social media by storm, we’re reminded of two similar projects in our The Only Progress is Human campaign–Urban Renaissance and Virtual Harmony.
Avatar Jordan Gershman

If you’ve watched the news, read a newspaper or scrolled social media in the past few weeks, you might have heard about The Sphere, an upcoming landmark on the Las Vegas Strip that has been in development since 2018. Earlier this month, the Madison Square Garden Group began testing out the massive LED dome on The Sphere, a new arena-style entertainment venue which is set to open its doors in September 2023.

On July 4, the first visual display was projected on the LED surface of The Sphere to celebrate Independence Day. This event gave the public its first glimpse at the groundbreaking venue, which is anticipated to become the world’s largest spherical structure and wraparound LED screen.

The excitement leading up to the opening of The Sphere has reminded many of us here at Dassault Systèmes about a similarly breathtaking display that we watched illuminate another city skyline on the other side of the world earlier this year: Urban Renaissance.

On Jan. 31, 2023, Dassault Systèmes unveiled Urban Renaissance, an innovative and inspiring light show depicting the future of urban life through a 3D mapping display. Designed by South Korean artist Yiyun Kang, this video was projected on the Dongdaemun Design Plaza (DDP) in Seoul, which was designed by Zaha Hadid architects utilizing CATIA, one of Dassault Systèmes’ virtual solutions. The DDP is a major neofuturistic landmark in Seoul, as well as a central metropolitan hub of art, fashion, socialization and tourism.

Urban Renaissance enlightened audiences in Seoul and across the world by imagining cities of the future in a unique and innovative format by using the DDP as a platform and canvas for the 3D art display. From synapses to highways to flowers growing in a bed of grass, this display explores sustainability as a vital asset that will transform cities of the future into ecosystems of progress and growth.

Take a look at a video of the Urban Renaissance here:

Along with this showcase, this spectacular event featured a panel with industry experts, including architect Bogdan Zaha from the Zaha Hadid architecture group, and speakers from Dassault Systèmes.

The Urban Renaissance project utilized a major public monument as its stage and canvas in an exciting way that invited the whole community to visit the site and view the artwork. 

Urban Renaissance was part of our The Only Progress is Human (TOPIH) initiative, which focuses on exploring solutions to real world challenges through the use of virtual twins and 3D simulation in order to prepare for changes of the future.

The Only Progress is Human launched in February 2020 with the Virtual Harmony event at the Jardin des Plantes in Paris. This groundbreaking show explored the labyrinth of human emotion through a spectacular display of visual artwork, virtual worlds and the power of music.

Virtual Harmony paired incredible virtual projections on an illuminated sphere with accompaniment from a world renowned orchestra heralded by famous French violinist Renaud Capuçon. Capuçon performed the concert with the 3DVarius, a 3D printed violin that was designed and constructed by Laurent Bernadac utilizing CATIA solutions. The event was part of the campaign’s Emotion Act, the first in a series of 10 experiences intended to inspire global action towards resolving human challenges for the future.

Check out a recap of the Virtual Harmony event here:

The global impacts of Virtual Harmony and Urban Renaissance can be seen as the early stages of an emerging trend in which 3D displays and projection are a major aspect of the initial design stages for monuments and buildings of the future. These concepts have the potential to redefine the relationship between virtual twins and architecture, urban design, and live entertainment over the next few decades.

As the world awaits the grand opening of The Sphere, the concepts we envisioned as possibilities in the past have become realities for today with the potential to act as a catalyst for human progress tomorrow.

Learn more about The Only Progress is Human campaign.

Stay up to date

Receive monthly updates on content you won’t want to miss


Register here to receive a monthly update on our newest content.