Vivid student design creation wins coveted award

Vivid installation
Vivid installation
Vivid installation
Vivid installation
Vivid installation

An interactive light installation which featured at the 2013 Vivid Festival has won University of Western Sydney design graduate Thi Nguyen the coveted Sydney Design Award.

Thi graduated from the Bachelor of Design (Visual Communication) with honours in 2011. Her installation piece 'Chromatic Motions' was displayed publically at the 2013 Vivid Festival on the shore of Sydney Harbour near the Sydney Opera House, one of the main attractions.

The installation was designed on the principle "touch creates colour". It is a virtual instrument which allows users to paint on a virtual canvas with their body – the installation analyses a live-feed generated by users moving in front of the piece and converts shape and motion into colour.

"The aim of this project was to reach the hearts and minds of people by facilitating meaningful and memorable experiences through play," says Thi.

"I hoped Chromatic Motions would inspire people to explore how design can influence our lives by creating something that would interact with them and influence the way they interacted with others at the installation. The audience were active participants rather than passive test subjects or observers as can sometimes be the case with design."

Designing for the Vivid Festival came with its challenges for Thi. Her restrictions and considerations included creating a heritage site-specific installation that was intuitive, inspiring and engaging for a crowd of over half a million, for the duration of two weeks. As Vivid is an outdoor festival, the installation also had to be durable, weather-proof and of reliable technology what would run smoothly for the duration of the event. Thi also had to consider transporting and maintaining the installation, and a modest budget.

Chronic Motions satisfied the design needs, site restrictions and it was also sustainable with a low energy consumption using LEDs (24amp), individual pieces which could be easily replaced if damaged, and it was designed to be flat packed to reduce space for transport/freight.

Ms Katrina Sandbach, Associate Lecturer Bachelor of Design (Visual Communication) and one of Thi's honours supervisors, says Thi's accomplishments are an inspiration for all design students.

"Thi's achieved a lot in the two years since she completed her degree at UWS including bravely making the leap to running her own design and art practice, quickly making a name for herself locally and abroad," says Ms Sandbach.

"Being exhibited at Vivid and being awarded the Sydney Design Award are incredible achievements. I have no doubt we will see more from Thi in the years to come."

Thi was awarded the Sydney Design Award for the Event Experience – Consumer category. This award celebrates creative and innovative design for a consumer event. Consideration is given to originality, creativity, theming, audience connection and engagement and how the event created a seamless experience for the visitor and helped to reinforce the program's core message.


31 October 2013

Contact: Hannah Guilfoyle, Media Assistant

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