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Bond lights up skies at Glow Festival

Students from The Abedian School of Architecture at Bond University have spent six months creating a light installation inspired by the mangrove tree, to be illuminated as part of the Glow Festival at Evandale Parklands on Saturday (April 11).

Made up of six interlocking branched structures, each measuring over two metres in diameter and between 3.5 metres and 5 metres in height, the installation is designed so that children can play within its 'roots', while adults wander through the larger ‘grove’ the structure forms .

Led by The Abedian School of Architecture Assistant Professor Jonathan Nelson, Assistant Professor Chris Knapp and visiting Associate Professor Andrew Kudless from the California College of the Arts, 15 students have worked on creating the complicated installation since late last year.

Assistant Professor Nelson said the students developed the concept from prototype through to the completed product, which would be carefully pieced together on site.

"The genesis of the concept was from the mangrove tree and the way the roots spread out and reach into the water," he said.

"The weaving of the roots creates a unique ecosystem, a calm and safe environment that is home to young fish and other wildlife.

"The idea of our installation is that children can weave in and around the roots in the same way, while adults walk through the glowing branches as they transform in colour."

Assistant Professor Nelson said the piece was designed using digital fabrication and made of HDPE plastic, the same material milk cartons are produced from.

"It is made up of 650 individual pieces that are riveted together, each lit from within with LED lights that slowly change colours," he said.

"Each of the pieces is quite complicated, with compounding curves, but through the use of digital fabrication techniques they have been developed so that they fit together seamlessly.

"The opportunity to work on this project from conception to completion has been extremely valuable for our architectural students. It’s given them project management experience as well as the satisfaction of seeing their work at full scale. "

Assistant Professor Nelson said the students were also working on a new installation for the Vivid Light Festival in Sydney in May, called 'Arclight', on the back of the successful showing of Cellular Tessellation at last year's event.

The Glow Festival will run from 5pm to 10pm on Saturday, 11 April, at Evandale Parklands and Lake, behind The Arts Centre Gold Coast.  The Festival will include displays of digital arts, light projections, water-laser shows on Evandale lake, movie screenings, an illuminated bar, live music, dancing and sculpture walks.


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