Thursday 12 Dec 2013
Bloom is a striking, kinetic installation currently installed in the window of Topshop's flagship store in Oxford Circus. Following the success of the Topshop Colour Wheel, London-based design studio NEON has once again collaborated with the store to create the eye-catching installation, heralding the start of the Christmas shopping season.
Bloom is a large-scale, moving installation composed of 159 individual rod-mounted petals which gently rise and fall in response to computer-sequenced pulses from fans positioned below.
NEON was commissioned by Topshop to produce an installation to tie in with the store's nationwide festive theme of cherry blossom. The graceful movement of the piece is achieved using a counterbalance weight integrated into each petal which when pulsed with air from below causes a rotational movement around a precisely defined pivot. Bloom aims to mimic the organic movement of blossom in the wind, appearing like a living, breathing element in the shop window.
The top of the petals are a minimalistic white, while the underside is decorated with a bold banded pink graphic. An instantaneous colour change effect is created through the rotation of the petal components in the wind created by the fans beneath. Intense pulses of movement and colour reverberate across the installation, stopping shoppers in their tracks as they walk past the window. Various sequences have been choreographed to provide a constant source of surprise for onlookers, creating the desire to linger and cutting through the Christmas clutter as retailers aggressively compete for shoppers' attention.
The petals are shaped from formed polypropylene sheet with a printed graphic on the underside and are attached to steel poles which range in height from 500mm to 2850mm. Each pole is attached to a metal support frame, which breaks down into nine pieces to facilitate easy transportation and assembly. Mannequins have been positioned on sections of the support frame detailed with a mirrored floor finish. Mounted on top of the support frame are 26 fluorescent tube lights, illuminating the petals from below. Positioned on the floor below are the 19 high velocity fans, sequenced and controlled using codes designed by the project's Interactive Consultant Daero Ra.
All components were pre-fabricated off site and designed for easy transportation, facilitating installation over a single night in-between trading hours.
Photography by Jim Stephenson & NEON