Passengers and visitors entering the Departure Check-in Hall at Changi Airport’s Terminal 1 (T1) are captivated by the art installation Kinetic Rain. The installation comes as a pair installed several meters apart above the central escalators and visible from many locations. The two elements move in dialogue through a fifteen-minute choreographed piece, evolving from abstract to figurative three-dimensional forms carrying the theme "dream of flying". The 1,216 copper-plated droplets transform into the different forms through slow, fluid movements. Between shapes reminiscent of gusts of wind, undulating waves and abstract membranes, majestic wings, an airplane and a kite are recognizable.
In the course of refurbishment works Changi Airport Group commissioned us to create a signature art installation for the Departure Check-in-Hall of T1 in response to the terminal’s theme “Tropical City” in keeping with Singapore’s garden city status and where rain, is
very much a part of the tropical climate. At the same time, the art piece was supposed to carry the theme of flying and to fill the emotional void that the installation ‘Mylar Cords’ had left which vanished with the terminal’s old interior. Clearly the new artwork was supposed to bring some calm to the busy travelling atmosphere of the spacious departure hall, and to slow down people’s pace, providing a moment of contemplation.
The given location above the two escalators was both challenging and inspiring. It requested a piece that would work from all perspectives and at all times, while moving on the escalators, while passing it on the upper level, and while looking at it from afar.
Kinetic Rain was created over a span of 20 months. A team of artists, programmers and engineers collaborated on its development. After analyzing the qualities of the available space, the piece was conceptualized. The initial idea was to create a kinetic sculpture made of metal blades that combine to form a continuously undulating wave. This concept was discarded in favor of a three-dimensional matrix of droplets that can be choreographed to express abstract to more concrete shapes and whose beauty and almost mystical harmony would captivate people’s attention. After a prototype was tested, the choreography was computationally designed. The 16 sequences through which Kinetic Rain moves were developed as a kind of non-linear story around the theme of flying. As one of the last steps in the process, copper-plated lightweight aluminum was chosen as material for the drops. With their polished copper surface the droplets’ glisten in the ambient light. In addition, the surrounding space is mirrored in each droplet, including everybody watching it. This multiplication of space and oneself however becomes visible only when standing very close to the installation, thus creating another fascinating experience. A video on the making-of can be viewed here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v4-AUVBuZ-4&feature=youtu.be
Kinetic Rain’s incredible popularity has found expression in 1.1 million views of its videos on Vimeo and Youtube up to today, and through being selected as “Staff Pick” on Vimeo. The piece’s appeal was reemphasized in November 2013, when a young woman climbed onto the safety net under the installation in order to pick some droplets. A news report on this hazardous action can be found here: http://sg.news.yahoo.com/woman-shown-grabbing-at-kinetic-rain-installation-at-changi-airport-061530881.html
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CODA: Collaboration of Design + Art
The global online community that celebrates design projects featuring commissioned artworks.
[ manifesto ]
Art matters. Attention to the details of our environment leads to love of place, which brings us to take responsibility for the spaces where we live and work. And by extension, the people with whom we live and work. And by extension, to our local communities, our cities, our nations, and our world.
We champion the role of artists in our society. We need artists to provide us with inspiration, creativity, and imagination, and to help us envision a better world.
Architects and designers know that remarkable design can change everything. They connect the dots across disciplines, collaborating with artists to make the world a more beautiful place. They are the ultimate patrons of the arts.
In the process, design professionals promote imagination and creativity, and through their commissions, make original art integral to and accessible in people's lives.
Art in our public and private spaces helps us fight ordinary buildings, ordinary streets, ordinary cities. We celebrate the extraordinary.
The architecture of our buildings and the design of our interiors affect our happiness and well-being. Each of us deserves a daily dose of inspiration.