UNWTO World Tourism Day

TYPE & TECH Live Event, Kinetic Light Sculpture



Illuminating the Global Spirit of Tourism

Uniting our creative forces with Imagination and Light Initiative we crafted the ‘Compass of Unity,’ a striking light sculpture for UNWTO World Tourism Day 2023. More than just a visual spectacle, its purpose was to symbolise the global unity and spirit of tourism at the Riyadh evening gala.

Hosted in September 2023 by the Saudi Arabia Ministry of Tourism, the event brought together global tourism leaders and sector experts with the goal of fostering mutual understanding, building bridges, safeguarding cultural heritage and environmental conservation. The 3D installation stood as a testament to the world’s connectivity through travel, aligning seamlessly with the event’s theme of “Tourism and Green Investments.”

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“Working on the ‘Compass of Unity’ was a testament to the power of swift and effective collaboration. In a limited timeframe, we were able to bring together a sculptured narrative that perfectly aligns with the theme of World Tourism Day. It’s been a privilege to work alongside Imagination and Light Initiative on this project.”

– Stuart Cupit

Chief Technology Officer, Solarflare Studio


Crafting a Centrepiece for World Tourism Day

Every year on September 27th, World Tourism Day serves as a global platform to acknowledge the sector’s achievements and address its challenges. For the 2023 celebrations, the challenge was to create an awe-inspiring centrepiece for the evening gala that would warmly welcome guests. The design had to not only be visually captivating but integrate with the narrative of circular motion, representing the global movement and unity of tourism. This core theme underscored Saudi Arabia’s key role in the collaboration of global tourism.


A Masterpiece of Light and Motion

Brought to life as a kinetic light sculpture, we leveraged a specific lighting and movement infrastructure to achieve the natural motion and represent the evening’s theme. Through the combined expertise of Solarflare and Light Initiative, 32 bespoke light rods, each containing 240 LEDs, were installed around a 4m diameter to create the even circular design and flowing motion.


A Mesmerising Tribute to Global Unity

As guests arrived at the gala in Riyadh, the ‘Compass of Unity’ welcomed them to the evening experience.

Serving as the entrance to a sensory journey through five continents – Australasia, Asia, Africa, Europe, and South America – the event immersed guests in diverse cultures and traditions through projected animations and live experiences. The ‘Compass of Unity’ lightshow not only added luminous grandeur to the event but represented the spirit of travel, unity, and the interconnectivity of global cultures.