The Photosynthesis project — a collaboration between Obscura, Illuminate (instigators of the Bay Lights), and San Francisco’s Conservatory of Flowers — transforms the Conservatory into an artistic canvas by night. This analog Gobo projection system bathes the building in stunning imagery of the flowers and butterflies housed inside, teasing out what hides beneath its whitewashed curtain, catching the eye of passers-by, sparking curiosity and drawing them in through captivating beauty. The project has a summer theme "Photosynthesis: Summer of Love" and a winter theme "Photosynthesis: Love for All Seasons".
Our goal was to use the canvas of the Conservatory to activate the otherwise dormant building at night, creating an attractive draw for passers-by, and enticing visitors to enjoy its offerings by day by highlighting the riches housed within this greenhouse, from the flora to the butterfly collection.
San Francisco's Department of Recreation and Parks approached arts instigator Illuminate to activate the Conservatory. Illuminate looked to Obscura to design and execute the program. We maintained a great collaborative working relationship with all parties.
This project represents one of the most advanced uses of gobo projection technology ever attempted, including applying digital architectural mapping techniques and laser etching on lenses of layered dichroic glass.
"Photosynthesis" at SF's Conservatory of Flowers
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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.