2018 - 2019
Bloom is intended to initiate conversations with the audience regarding biodegradability, and our social responsibilities to the environment as consumers and designers.
We developed a modular design that consisted of three units, for a total of 9 seating areas, along with a matching table that contained the projector and webcam sensor. Overall, the furniture was lightweight, stable, and easy to assemble and disassemble. Each seating module folded down flat to make it easy to pack into a luggage. The compatibility and biodegradability of the cardboard furniture were the main strong points of this part of the project.
The kombucha in the exhibition is set in the mycelium container and takes the shape of a flower, so the leafy assemblage of kombucha is easily viewable to the audience. A few LEDs are placed inside of the kombucha leather flowers to show off it’s translucent traits. The arrangement of the mycelium and kombucha lighting element drew in audience members and initiated conversations involving unique and eco-friendly materials, and openined a dialogue of future sustainable materials that could be implemented in the furniture design field. Ultimately the mycelium we wanted to exhibit was presented as a container set on the center table, which can easily be seen and felt by the audience.
I used a programming language called Processing and created generative root designs to simulate the growth of the natural materials we used in our furniture. The projection coded for the exhibition appears as a circular root system called a “bloom” growing out from the center of a 3-dimensional facade a distance away from the projector, and branches off the further away it gets from the center. Every time the bloom grows on screen, it generates a new branch layout with a new color, and all the colors and branch layouts are randomized.
The projection is linked to a webcam that detects motion. Surrounding the bloom are moving dots associated with movement, with opaque centers that reference the appearance of cells, as well as to repeat the form of the circle cutouts of our 3-dimensional screen. The cells move responding to the motion of the audience captured by the webcam, which symbolizes an interaction and causation of user's actions (their movements) to the effects on the environment and of natural resources (the installation). The placement of the webcam is meant to draw the audience’s attention more to the facade, lighting, and furniture. The facade was created using lasercut paper circles of 3 sizes secured to 2 layers of hemp strings and a back wall using biodegradable linen tape. The hemp strings were dangled from a hanging structure the width of the exhibit, and secured to wood lasercut circles that were adhered to the ground using melted beeswax.