A festive extravaganza of light and sound, the award-winning “Illumination” returned to The Morton Arboretum for the 2016 winter season. “Illumination” transformed the grounds of the Arboretum into a winter wonderland with brilliant light-and-music shows and entertaining, interactive experiences that celebrate nature’s beauty. Now in its fourth year, the show has become a beloved holiday tradition and has garnered national recognition for its innovative re-imagination of traditional holiday lighting.
Our original goal for “Illumination” was simple: Let guests see trees in a different light. Over the years, we’ve stayed true to that objective, while striving to create bigger, better and more immersive experiences. Based on visitor feedback from previous shows, we unveiled several new experiences designed to surprise and delight guests in 2016.
Treemagination uses projection mapping to make a grove of hemlock trees come to life; one effect makes them appear to breathe, while another saturates them in richly colored hues. We also re-envisioned the closing experience. In the all-new Fantasy Forest, light dances across polished abstract “trees” to the tune of a specially composed piece contemporary music, leaving guests with magical memories to take with them.
“Illumination” was a truly collaborative project that began several years ago as a dialogue between Morton’s arborists and the creative team. Before we crafted our design concept for the first season in 2013, we wanted to understand the mission behind this project. We held a series of conversations with the Arboretum staff to learn what they wanted guests to discover about the winter landscape. Using that information, we crafted our initial design concept, which focused on showing the beauty and vitality of winter trees through light. From there, we further developed the concepts for the various vignettes and then conducted on-site mock-ups to give the Arboretum staff a first-hand look at the experience before it opened to the public.
More than 350,000 visitors enjoyed “Illumination” in its first three seasons, substantially increasing winter attendance at the Arboretum and drawing new guests from around the world.
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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.