We worked with architect Asif Khan to design this installation of light on aluminium rings for Melbourne’s ‘Light in Winter’ Festival. It aimed to establish a direct connection to its visitors, whose presence affected the light. The installation was set tall enough to allow people to walk underneath, allowing them to view it from within the rings.
Situated in the city’s Federation Square, ‘Radiant Lines’ consisted of forty aluminium rings (totalling two kilometres long), layered to create its moiré pattern. There was also a 360° scanner that sensed the movements of people and converted this into a pulse of light that circled around the rings of the perimeter.
Due to the open space in which the installation was to be placed, a key consideration in the design was the effect of wind. The structure was therefore a very light sway frame, designed for stiffness and capacity. Finite element analysis was used to test the capacity of members and connections, and the uplift of foundations when under the wind load.
The structure was divided into eight segments, each bounded by aluminium plate frames with forty extruded curved box sections spanning between. These segments were bolted through plate frames which were connected to the ends of steel box sections at ground level.
The whole structure acted as a single unit, allowing forces to be shared through displacing of the rings. Paired columns acted as a series of local moment frames with both horizontal sections of the plate frames and the extruded box sections. As a result, under the effect of wind, they were subject to bending in both directions.
Installation of forty aluminium rings with light pulses created by the presence of visitors