Biomimetic Yarn-Bombing

Image © 2016 CHOI+SHINE

I’ve long been fascinated with urban space art installations in general, and fibre based pieces in particular. Somehow I missed hearing about the Singapore based i Light Marina Bay Light Art Festival in March, but I’m happy to have discovered it now.

The festival is an annual event, and this year’s theme of Biomimicry and Sustainability strike multiple chords. London/Seoul based architectural firm Choi+Shine created The Urchins for this site specific installation. 

This project is inspired by sea urchin shells, which are enclosed yet light weight, delicate and open.  Their textured and permeable surface interacting with light creates openness, while the pattern’s mathematical repetition brings visual rhythm and harmony.  Against light, the sea urchin natural form reveals one of the most spectacular patterns found in nature.

The project mimics this orderly, repetitive pattern and soft forms, achieving a visual harmony from the contrast between nature and the man-made environment, and between the firmly grounded masculine skyscrapers and the hovering feminine object.

The Urchin is a hand crochet fabric shell held in tension over an aluminum frame that is suspended from Dyneema cables.  The cables fasten to steel trusses holding the Urchins in place.  Because the structure is light weight, the suspending cables are thin, and barely visible during the day.

The project mimics this orderly, repetitive pattern and soft forms, achieving a visual harmony from the contrast between nature and the man-made environment, and between the firmly grounded masculine skyscrapers and the hovering feminine object.

The Urchins interact with natural light during the day, and glow when illuminated at night.

 At night, the mysteriously hovering and glowing large Urchins create a sense of magic as if time has stopped.  When viewers enter into the Urchins, they will be surrounded by a single layer of glowing, lacy surface, where they can enjoy the detail and texture of the Urchins and see the city, water and the sky through this visual filter.  When other viewers see the occupants in the Urchins, the occupants will glow within the lacy room, creating an illusion of ethereal levitation of the occupants, while the occupants become a part of the art work.

Image © 2016 CHOI+SHINE

I highly recommend exploring the Choi+Shine website to fully experience their creation and installation. This isn’t their first light festival lace installation…  Prepare to be amazed.

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