CSE Tribute Wall

Tribute Wall

University of Washington Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering




Belle & Wissell, Co.




Senior Developer at Belle & Wissell, Co.


  • Gabe Kean, Principal
  • Sarah Trueblood, Studio Director
  • Edward Tang, Technology Director
  • Claudia de Almeida, Design Director
  • Natalie Karbelnig, Content Development Manager
  • Edrea Lita, Senior Designer
  • Izzi Vasquez, Designer
  • Serge Bokach, Quality Assurance Engineer


  • Interactive Wall
  • Installation
  • Education
  • Ideation
  • Front-End Development
  • CMS Development
  • Generative
  • Motion Sensor
  • Multitouch


  • JavaScript
  • ES6
  • WebGL
  • React
  • Electron
  • Webpack
  • HTML
  • Sass
  • Craft CMS


The Tribute Wall is a large-scale interactive media experience in the heart of the University of Washington's Bill & Melinda Gates Center for Computer Science & Engineering.

The wall was designed to integrate gracefully with the building's architecture and provide students, faculty, and visitors both an artful architectural element and an interactive storytelling experience.

Art Installation

Across eighteen 55" screens, the wall generates new visual experiences continually throughout the day—shifting color palettes, textures, motion settings, lighting, and shadows as the atomic elements—the vertical slats—subtly ebb and flow.

Sensors embedded at the base of the wall allow the visuals to react to visitor presence, and the experience can be programmed to generate unique color palettes at different times of the day.

Controller application

The flowing variation of the ambient experience is generated by a controller application that calculates and combines layers of signal patterns. The controller also facilitates intercommunication between the six separate CPUs that render the visual experience on vertical columns of three displays each.

Signal patterns can take a number of forms (e.g., gradient noise, waveforms, pulses), be targeted to effect a number of visual aspects of the experience (e.g., colors, slat widths, shadow direction), and be combined in countless ways. Sets of layered signal patterns are grouped into discrete modes that are cycled through throughout the day to continually produce novel combinations.

CSE Tribute Wall

Interactive Storytelling

When a visitor approaches the wall, sensors embedded beneath the displays detect their presence and a simple card slides out from between vertical slats inviting them to interact. With a single touch on the wall, the slats part and reveal a scrollable column of interactive stories.

Articles, videos, timelines, and infographics tell the story of the University of Washington's role in computing history, CSE’s ongoing efforts to foster diversity in the field, and the Pacific Northwest region’s role as a hub for innovation.

A live calendar on the right side of the wall is automatically populated with events from UW CSE's existing events calendar. All other content of the wall is all editable via a custom Craft CMS setup. Additionally, the wall can be sent into a presentation mode to display static images, a tiled slideshow, or live video.

CSE Tribute Wall