Waves of golden light appear to shimmer and float from the ceiling in “Breaking the Surface” a new interactive installation from Scandinavian Design Group, ctrl+n, Abida, Pivot Product Design and Intek. The kinetic sculpture is composed of an array of acrylic plastic tubes extending through the floor of a two-story mechanized matrix, gracefully moving above and below the surface to evoke abstract images of the undersea geography. Read more about the interactive installation after the break.
The form of the installation was inspired by geological models and makes reference to the technology used by commissioning oil company, Lundin Norway. Six crystals hang within the forest of acrylic tubes and encapsulate actual oil samples from Lundin’s most important discoveries. Designed for a Scandinavian energy conference last month, the two-story installation is now a permanent fixture at Lundin's offices in Norway.
The advanced technology used in the installation includes a series of sensors able to track the movements of visitors and adjust the movement of the tubes accordingly. The experience created is inherently interactive, with the tubes dodging the heads of passers-by and echoing the graceful movements of ocean tides. The effect is achieved through a complex system of sensors, pipes, and moving mechanical parts designed to be controlled by a customized openFrameworks setup, with additional add-ons created by the designers themselves.
Johnathon Little, an architect at ctrl+n, describes his approach to design as both strong and soft, with this work expressing a strong and informative form within a soft and comfortable series of spaces. The design of the space itself was an important consideration, with Little stating, “It is like embracing a jewel, the surroundings should be non-confrontational but also have a life of its own.” The first level of the space functions as an informal meeting place where visitors can get a glimpse of the installation before going up a few steps to fully experience it on the second level. The third level takes on a different aesthetic and enables visitors to learn more about the engineering and process behind the installation. Here visitors walk around the installation rather than through it as in the level below, and there are spaces for sitting and reflection.