Architect Doris Sung’s kinetic sculpture Bloom dramatically sprouts out of the Materials & Applications courtyard, a public and participatory outdoor space for innovative creations from emerging architects. A grotesquely shaped shade structure based on a “self-organizing cellular panel system of laser-cut, custom-fabricated sheet metal,” Bloom stems from the research of LA-based architects Sung and Ingalill Wahlroos-Ritter, in collaboration with structural engineer Matthew Melnyk.
A botanical enclave from the future, this structural intervention stands six meters tall and kinetically responds to the sun’s heat. Basically, when the metal is cool, the structure stays solid. But with warmer temperature changes and direct solar radiation, Bloom has petals that stretch out to soak up the sun’s rays. Like a metallic flower, its panels of woven bimetal gradually respond and fan out to provide air flow and maximize shade. This playful manifestation of Sung and Wahlroos-Ritter’s research explores new implications for concepts like surface and structure in architecture, while also magnifying the public interactivity of the M&A courtyard, as the largest creation to be exhibited in the space.
Photos courtesy of Brandon Shigeta