Soft Array

Soft Array

By Arcade (creative director Keiichi Matsuda), for Microsoft Windows.


March 2013 | SxSW 2013, Austin TX, USA

May 2013 | Modern Jago, London, England

June 2013 | Cannes Lions 2013, Cannes, France

September 2013 | Microsoft HQ, Redmond WA, USA

An installation commissioned by Microsoft, exploring how digital experiences can leak out into the physical world. Soft Array is a programmable environment made up of over eighty interconnected Windows 8 devices, embedded within a family of structures.


Originally installed at Windows Studio at SxSW 2013 in Austin, Texas, Soft Array then toured to Modern Jago in London, Cannes Lions in the South of France, and the Microsoft headquarters near Seattle.

The concept of the 'programmable environment' was further extended with each install. Arcade ran a series of competitions and events, for Windows developers to design apps specifically for Soft Array. This meant that each installation demonstrated new possibilities, and also gave developers a chance to get to grips with the new OS.

The structure also evolved during the tour. For the beachfront install at the Cannes Lions festival, we replaced the cardboard cladding with a tougher, sleeker polycarbonate shell. The modular geodesic design meant that the frame was straightforward to maintain and adapt.