Commissioned by the Greater London Authority as part of the Wonder series to celebrate the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics, BLOOM, designed and developed by Alisa Andrasek and Jose Sanchez from The Bartlett School of Architecture at UCL, is a crowd sourced garden. Designed in neon pink, which is the official Olympics color, BLOOM is conceptualised as an urban toy, a distributed social game and collective “gardening” experience that seeks the engagement of people in order to construct fuzzy BLOOM formations. More images and architects’ description after the break.
An initial aggregation developed by the designers will show participants the possibilities of the system through the main “portal” of the game constructed by designers. People are able to add the pieces to the initial structure to alter its form as well as start seeding new ground sequences that can be used as urban furniture such as seating or simply unpredictable formations. The bench structure is an initial seed for the visitors’ interaction. It suggests a multiplicity of connection points from which the structure could start to grow. New pieces will be fed into this collective construction site depending on its intensity.
BLOOM considers a mode of assembly, disassembly and re‐usability that challenges the notions of traditional construction. Looking at the examples of toys like LEGO, the lifespan of the project is undetermined as it allows the project to adapt and reappear in many different places and occasions. The collective act of coming to one place and building something becomes a shared memory for each person attending. The energy for BLOOM construction is sourced from people’s interactions. None of the pieces can do anything on its own, only by putting together thousands of them is when the game and the BLOOM garden emerge.
By recombining 3 different connections in each cell, or following rhythms of repeating strings of same connections (like in music!) participants can build a ring, a spiral or a distributed branch… Only by playing and discovering does the actual ‘design’ emerge. The final piece is a collective act of imagination, search and play. Due to the flexibility and resilience of the building cells, the ‘rules’ of the game can be bent; you can twist them to find different configurations! Like in the clouds, different shapes can be red from BLOOM formations. For more information, visit the project’s official website here.