Client: Hankook Tire
Location: Hankook Tire Technoplex, Seoul, Korea South
Completion date: 2020
Jason Bruges Studio
Foster & Partners
SEN Engineering Group
Designed for Hankook Tire’s new headquarters in Pangyo, Seoul, Digital Phyllotaxy is a physical metaphor for a tree. Deriving its name from the arrangement of leaves on a stem, the artwork is inspired by the vertical journey through the building and explores the idea of split-level experiences. As people ascend through the vast architectural ‘oculus’ they witness the interplay of dappled light below, within and above the canopy. Leaves digitally rustle and change colour with the seasons transforming the journey on the escalator into an encounter with nature.
Digital Phyllotaxy uses a bespoke media assembly comprised of edge-lit LED units and liquid crystal shutters. The layering of each component is choreographed to create delicate volumes of illumination and obscuration. A palette of inputs including movement, sun paths and wind speeds, trigger a generative atmosphere with the everchanging, arboreal crown.
Materials: mixed media, custom-control software and custom electronics.
Dimensions: 16m in diameter.
Hankook Tire called for a site-specific artwork that aligns with their dynamic culture of innovation, creativity and craftsmanship. A key aim for the project was to compliment the architectural approach by embracing principles of biophilia to create a restorative workplace that promotes wellbeing.
Taking this into consideration, Jason Bruges Studio envisaged an artwork that brings a dynamic interplay of artificial and natural light deep into the heart of the building generating visual connections across different floors to encourage staff interaction. Updating in real-time the installation strives to create an everchanging arboreal world that welcomes people into the building.
Collaboration is at the heart of the Studio’s process. The multidisciplinary team is made up of architects, industrial designers, engineers, visualisers and specialists in electronics. Together they work through each stage of a project with a hands-on, experimental approach.
Digital Phyllotaxy was realised through a dynamic collaboration with Hankook Tire and Foster and Partners. Regular design reviews and workshops were scheduled with the architects to ensure that the design of the artwork would complement and enhance the architecture of the building. Once a concept design was approved, JBS designers and visualisers developed a dynamic model that ensured the nodes and hardware would not collide with each other once real-life effects were factored in.
Due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, the installation process had to be completed remotely, with the JBS team collaborating with a local production partner in Seoul. Some aspects of the design had to be altered mid-production due to the different manufacturing techniques and availability of products between the UK and South Korea. During and post-installation, the artwork was programmed using live video feeds that allowed JBS designers to explore the installation via different angles and create a responsive and reactive system.
Image and video credit: Giraffe Pictures