Greenlam and WOW Architects’ ‘Point of Balance’ installation has swept up the most votes in The Project: People’s Choice award. We find out more about the creative process from the teams involved.
29 July, 2015
Housed at the Red Dot Design Museum and National Design Centre, the five projects were driven by strong concepts with some also showing a good level of creativity in tackling this year’s theme of “Balance”. Clearly a crowd favourite, Greenlam and Wow Architects’ installation, titled ‘Point of Balance’, saw 158 birds perched on stylised ‘trees’. The highly engaging project not only underscored the key features of Greenlam’s laminate products, but invited visitors to test out their own balancing skills.
We speak with the winning collaborative team of this year’s The Project: People’s Choice.
What was it like collaborating with WOW Architects on this project?
It was absolutely fantastic. Not for a moment did we have any disconnect or feel we were different organisations. Both the Greenlam and WOW teams absolutely understood each other’s creative requirement and worked like one team to make it better.
How did the concept for this installation come about?
The concept came from our brand philosophy of “Going Green”. Greenlam is a company that believes in promoting green/eco-friendly products. Green is not just a colour, but it’s a blueprint on which we build the brand. Hence, the idea for this installation was an extension of the same thought: to pass the message of creating the right balance between Design and Nature.
How did The Project help to showcase the key qualities of your product?
The installation communicated the eco-friendly aspect of all Greenlam laminates and showcased their range of colour and vibrancy, and their ability to be used in any shape and size. We think it portrayed this message very well.
Can you describe the creative process that led to the eventual concept of ‘Point of Balance’?
We were very inspired by this year’s theme “Balance” and Greenlam’s eco-friendly laminate products. Together with these two design primers, we set out in a workshop to explore various options that best expressed and married these two concepts in a fun, interactive and experiential way. We researched on an educational toy very popular in the ‘90s called the ‘balancing bird’, which was based on the fundamental physics of balance. We adapted this idea and developed it into an ecological theme using clear acrylic rods of various heights to create a surreal forest inhabited by an array of endangered colourful birds – made possible by using Greenlam’s wide range of eco-laminates. Guests are then invited to take a bird from the basket provided and try to balance them on the rods as an act of ‘re-introducing’ them back to the forest. This simple act hopes to encourage guests to reflect on their roles in maintaining harmony with Nature’s ecology.
How do the birds balance on their perch?
This was achieved by placing the centre of mass below the bird’s beak. We designed the wings to extend beyond the beak [and in so doing created the right balance with the rest of the bird’s body]. We fine-tuned the balance by adding extra pieces of laminate to the wing. This also allowed us to use multiple colours and patterns on each bird.
What were the challenges with this project?
One of the biggest challenges was getting the birds to balance at an ideal angle. Our initial prototypes were quite ambitious and elaborate. After many [rounds of] trial and error we finally managed to work out the counterweights in relation to the proportions of the bird. Yet, the balance was still very sensitive and disturbed by the slightest asymmetry created during production, so we tested every single bird before the event and added extra weight where required.
Why do you think your project garnered the most votes?
We believe it was because of its fun, interactive and educational nature. By inviting guests to participate in introducing ‘balance’ to the installation, it endeavored to create awareness of the product’s value as well as encourage reflection on the underlying ecological theme behind the installation and exhibition.
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