Tell us about the early design brief
The brief called for a fusion of architecture, sport, music and technology that created an arresting sensory experience. Our design was inspired by the effervescent release of energy when a bottle of fizzy Coca-Cola is opened, and this became the metaphor for the form of the installations and the interaction which triggered the installations’ behaviours. The idea also tied into the brand’s identity, underscoring their core product values.
What challenges did you face along the way?
We have a mixed disciplinary team at the studio and designing and producing this project required input from almost every expertise we have. The “nodes” which made up the artwork were bespoke mechatronic objects, with a large number of unique components. This made all aspects of the engineering, fabrication and delivery of a reliable system a huge challenge. It required a design process focussed around iterative design, research and development, whilst working closely with a range of small UK-based manufacturers.
What about specific design challenges?
Aside from the mechanical engineering challenges of the project design, there were a lot of logistical and co-ordination challenges to be addressed. Being part of such an event brings unique challenges and the key to delivering the project was communication and flexibility at all scales of the design team. There was a community around the project, especially once we were on site, and building good personal relations with other parties enabled us to overcome many challenges which may have had the potential to derail the project.
How did it feel to be involved in such an important British project?
There was a real feeling of being part of something special throughout the project. In the weeks before the Games the anticipation and excitement was palpable throughout the team. Although the magnitude of the event put a great pressure on everyone involved to deliver, the real driving force in the team was the pride in being involved and wanting to do our best to contribute to the experience of the Games as a whole.