You can do some pretty amazing things with LEDs these days, from entertaining Tron dances in light suits, to the cool controllable lights made by Kiwi company MEA Mobile. And Designworks NZ has also put the technology to good use with the launch of an interactive light installation called Hundreds and Thousands as part of the Vivid Sydney light festival.
The installation, which was created in collaboration with The Benevolent Society, "Australia's first charity" and is an extension of the transformation and design work it has recently undertaken it, is designed as a tunnel for people to walk through and is essentially a net of thousands of little LED lights. Designworks' chief executive Sven Baker says there was a whole team working over there setting up the approximately 17,000 LED lights, which are built like a screen with a specialised LED mesh system, so each light can be controlled individually (like pixels on a computer screen) to react and respond when visitors interact with it.
“The aim of the brand repositioning was to capture and articulate The Benevolent Society’s key role in driving positive social change in Australia, and the Hundreds and Thousands light tunnel brings this aim to life by providing Australians with the ability to share their hopes and dreams via social media feeds," says Mark Kennedy, managing director of Designworks Sydney.
The LED mesh system is stretched across a skeleton-like structure that provides enough space between each light to allow wind, rain and other elements to pass through and leave it unaffected.
Those wandering through are invited to share their hopes for the future of Australia’s children via Twitter (#hopesforchange), or through the website hopesforchange.org.au. When a hope is submitted, the installation responds by making the lighting effects more dynamic. The greater the number of people sharing their hopes, the more dynamic the lighting effects become, which allows people to see their hopes changing the interactive sculpture in real time.