Art installations like the Lotus Oculus have all the elements that make it a piece you can stare at for hours – it is intriguing, intelligent, and inspiring. This nature-inspired structure uses a smart material that mimics how flowers act when greeted by the sun, thus the dome also is reactive to light! Lotus Oculus was commissioned by Bulgari and was placed in the Modern Art Gallery in Milan.
The story began in 2010 with a little curiosity and a lot of research on smart materials. Studio Roosegaarde’s design team was searching for a material that looked like something that came from nature and also responded to stimuli in real-time. That is how smart flowers were born and over a decade, the studio has done multiple art installations evolving in scope and shape but maintaining the common factor – they all open in response to light and Lotus Oculus is the most recent one.
Lotus Oculus pays homage to the grandeur of the Pantheon and continues the legacy by creating an organic architecture of movement and shadows. This dynamic dialogue is what Daan Roosegaarde calls Techno-Poetry,” the artist explains. When you see the art in motion, it seems to breathe in the air around it. The geometric orb is made of several small panels of smart material and each of which curls into a flower shape when stimulated!
The entire exhibit comes to life as the parts fold and unfold in response to the changing environment and light intensity which presents a show of light and movement throughout the space. The interactive installation is a mix of art and design, it was awarded the A’Design Gold Award and Media Architecture Award Denmark. Some installations are permanent like the Lotus Maffei in the Palazzo Maffei Museum in Verona, Italy and the Lotus Dome in Sainte Marie Madeleine Church in Lille, France.
This striking installation draws you in, observe, move around it and bring the petals to life as you interact with it. Roosegaarde describes this tangible connection between light and material as “a metamorphosis of nature and technology. In search of a new harmony between people and the environment, Lotus is a work of art and a pilot for more organic architecture.”
Designer: Studio Roosegaarde