It’s always great to be involved in projects that are unique, challenging and different, and when Caroline Jones of production company Miss Jones and Co evolved the concept of the world’s first sensorial wine tasting ‘Colour Lab’ at the four day Streets of Spain Festival staged along London’s famous Southbank … she required some inventive input from Lighting Designer Simon Honnor.
They in turn approached rental company Entec to supply the equipment needed to help realise the idea of enveloping a complete space in saturated color to see if it made a difference to how people’s taste altered when their environment changed.
The Color Lab was one of the biggest single attractions of the four day Festival, with over 3,500 people participating.
The idea – developed in collaboration with Oxford University Professor Charles Spence, an expert in experimental psychology - was to showcase a selection of Campo Viejo’s wines by creating a lab environment with different color / sound changes - to establish whether this made a difference to people’s perception of taste.
Honnor recce’d the space at Festival Village and took a brief based on an overview of the experiment and of what was required in terms of creating the colors. He then chose his fixtures and worked out the best way to achieve the desired effect.
He chose 24 x Robe LEDWash 600s which were supplied by Entec and rigged in a long line on a truss suspended below the central spine of the white tent which had an apex roof. This allowed him to blast light into all areas of the tent and produce the intense color sensations required.
He chose the Robe LEDWashes – one of the best such fixtures currently available on the market – because “They are great wash fixtures, size wise they fitted perfectly and they also produce an excellent white” - all in all, it was an extremely neat lighting package.
Four different color states were set up – White without music, red without music, green with music and red with music. The color was changed every minute, so including the introductory explanation, the experiment lasted 10 minutes.
Consumers entered the Color Lab and were given a report sheet to fill in as they experienced the different colors and tasted the wines. They were asked to comment on how they felt in relation to how the wines tasted, the intensity of the flavour and the enjoyment of the wine with each color change.
The results were fascinating in that the wine was perceived as fresher and less intense under green lighting and sour music, as compared to any of the other three environments. On average, the participants liked the wine most under red lighting whilst listening to sweet music.
To light other areas of the festival – including a bar and masterclass area where the wine makers from Campo Viejo’s vineyard in Rioja taught people how to blend their own wine, Entec also supplied hundreds of Encapsulite fluorescent fixtures, complete with red and yellow sleeves for the Spanish theming, plus some redheads used to bounce lighting off the celling in the wine-mixing bar.
Outside along the various walkways, between Hungerford and Waterloo bridges, approximately 400 metres of festoon lighting was supplied and rigged, also in the Spanish colors of red and yellow.
Honnor sums up, “It’s always great working with Entec. They make everything extremely easy, especially for something like this which is definitely ‘out-of-the-box’, are very flexible and a perfect supplier”.
Caroline Jones of Miss Jones & Co agrees, saying simply, “Yes - we love working with Entec, they’re flexible, cost effective and reliable.”
The Color Lab was the world’s largest multi-sensory tasting experiment clearly demonstrating that your taste changes when exposed to different environments.
Photos: Karolina Krasuska