Crafting Visual Realities: The Living City at CES

January 31, 2018


The Consumer Electronics Show, or CES, is the world’s largest consumer tech trade show. It showcases advancements in technologies which affect people as consumers, citizens, and individuals. CES began in 1967 and this week marks its 20th show.  This year, Kilograph had the chance to be a part of it.


(Reuters/Rick Wilking)

On January 9th, Jim Hackett, CEO of Ford Motors, took to the stage to give Ford’s keynote speech. He spoke about the concept of “The Living City,” and how we can use transportation — something that historically defined our cities and is now seen as a barrier to community — to  “take back the streets” for living and connectivity. Ford is looking to the future where a cloud platform could control transportation across an ecosystem of driverless vehicles, bike share programs, and city services all in an inclusive manner where, according to Hackett, “the benefits of community can be experienced by more people, across many backgrounds.”



While Hackett spoke, the expansive 122 foot LED screen behind him began to come alive with The Living City and this animation revealed the evolution of the “City Of Tomorrow.”  A blue background morphed into an outline complete with sky and clouds, and from there a fully rendered collage-style environment was revealed. Experts from the Ford team provided examples of how these new data networks would help promote an interconnected community of people: promoting safety, decreasing congestion, and increasing freedom.


Kilograph was honored to be part of a diverse team of creative individuals and visionary companies, all of whom came together to create the stories for this keynote. In conjunction with Ford, Civic Entertainment Group, Experimental Design, and creative director Alex McDowell, Kilograph provided digital set design, animation, and data visualization. We used a combination of 2D and 3D animation to create the collage style Living City, and were collaborators in establishing both the look and styling of the City. Experimental Design, together with Toy Robot Productions, directed the animation. They also produced the green screen videography, composited, edited, and created graphics, sound design, and watch out programming for the project.


CES Ford Stand



In addition to the Living City collaboration, Kilograph was contracted by Ford and Imagination Labs to create a unique animation for the immersive experience that was the Ford Stand. The graphic we created was placed on a twenty foot tall, 118 foot wide LED screen. This was integrated into the environment through use of a road set, traffic signs, Ford’s Smart Bench, live performers, and autonomous cars.  


We were thrilled to collaborate with these visionary thinkers on a project with such an important and timely mission:  “If you can change the street you can change the world” – Jim Hackett


The Kilograph team members who worked on this project were: 
Keely Colcleugh
Sheena Garcia
Henrique Kobylko
Chris Kiser
Nathaniel Capaccio
Luis Tornell
Juan Carlos Ramos
Fredy Castellanos
Kung-Wei “Jerry” Chen
Shannon Sweeney
LaCurtis Sumlin
Gerard Fernandez
Mike Florio
Diana Suarez