A quartet of Christie Q Series projectors enable a “talking” sculpture—the winning design at global engineering firm Arup’s contest that required AV as a dynamic element.
Heart of Arup by DaeWha Kang Design is the 2016 winner of the annual No.8@Arup competition— it’s a unique multimedia structure which incorporates Arup's digital social network stream in a creative audio-visual installation.
From their 90 offices in 38 countries, Arup’s 11,000 planners, designers, engineers and consultants deliver innovative projects across the world that are at the heart of many of the world's most prominent projects in the built environment and across industry.
Arup's No.8@Arup is an annual competition that shines a spotlight on innovative installations and sculptures from talented designers and architectural practices. The idea is a simple one: Arup encourages emerging architectural practices by providing an opportunity to showcase their creativity in Arup’s London office.
Designers were asked to consider the technological changes in the industry and-- by using digital optimisation, parametric modelling or coding—to design a stairway “to generate delight.”
17 practices entered the competition and seven were shortlisted.
"DaeWha Kang's installation Heart of Arup for this year's No8@Arup series transcends the physical constraints of the atrium and the brief. This sculpture not only evokes physical connections made possible by inserting a stair in the atrium, it's live-feed multichannel projections also reveal the minute by minute interpersonal connectedness of all Arup staff. The internet enabled communication of 13,000 Arup people, sharing their thoughts, expertise and insight for the benefit of our clients via invisible social media digital networks, may very well be the beating heart of Arup," says Nigel Tonks, Buildings London Leader, Arup.
The sculpture now hangs within the atrium space of Arup's No.8 Fitzroy Street office in central London. Christie's Q-Series projectors project multiple social media posts from Arup's Yammer stream onto cable-suspended acrylic 'leaves' of the sculpture. This concept takes the digital thoughts, expertise and insights of Arup employees from the virtual world and brings them into a visible reality.
The installation can be seen from an array of public spaces and working areas within the building, and it reflects the many daily interactions taking place between the company's offices around the world in an engaging and accessible format.
Christie's Q Series projectors tackle the atrium's challenging environment-- a light, spacious and airy space. Calling it "the industry's highest quality dual-lamp 1DLP projection solution," Christie says the Q Series combines the “versatility, affordability and performance” ideals for this application. The ultra-quiet operation, low profile design and reliability also ensure the focus remains solely on the installation's appealing aesthetic.
"We loved everything about this project. From the way the winning idea incorporated AV to make a 'talking sculpture' to the collaboration between so many parties involved in design and installation. In fact, the whole way this project developed was a great example of that and a rewarding process. The Heart of Arup gave us the challenge of projecting onto hanging pieces of acrylic in a central well flooded with daylight so we needed projection that was very bright, with good image quality that would run continuously for extended periods of time," says James Belso, Senior Sales Manager, Christie, UK & Nordics.
The design further encourages employees to engage via the company's Yammer platform, and this interactive audio-visual element captured the imagination during the judging phase for the competition. The dynamic sculpture was delivered by a multidisciplinary team at Arup, led by Laura Sims, with materials and additional expertise from Base Structures, MEC, Aalco and White Light.
It will now remain in situ over the coming months, and it has already become a major talking point among staff and visitors alike. The installation has been designed with the potential to be incorporated into a more permanent feature stair within the atrium, envisioning a fully integrated digital and physical space.
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