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One of our own at Vivid 2017

Monday 19 June, 2017
by Ash Braithwaite
Jono a collaborator on one of Vivid's most popular submissions

It was cold and rainy, but that didn’t stop thousands of committed men, women and children from flocking to Circular Quay on a Friday night in June to experience the Vivid Light, Music & Ideas Festival. And an experience it was. Vivid-goers don’t simply go to “see” Vivid; they engage with it. The impressive audio-visual displays, both grand and small, left children excited and adults in awe as they not only saw or heard but interacted with different designs.

Vivid Sydney began in 2009 with the purpose of intersecting art, technology and commerce. It is Australia’s major tourism event each winter, and is the largest event of its kind in the world, combining light, music and ideas. The Vivid Light Walk presents installations scattered throughout the city, including impressive displays at the Sydney Opera House, Sydney Harbour Bridge, the Rocks, Martin Place, Darling Harbour, Royal Botanic Garden and even Taronga Zoo. On the boardwalk by the water at the Rocks, a perpetual gathering of eager onlookers waited in line to take photos with a beautiful sensor-activated light display. (Image right)

Crystallise was made by the CREATE team at UNSW, a student-led engineering and design organisation. The project boasts a brilliant wall of light mosaic, showing illuminated shards and fragments of various colours and patterns. Crystallise encourages viewers to approach and explore the mural, rewarding those who come within close enough proximity to reveal large celestial wings. Third year New College biomedical and mechatronic engineering student Jono Hribar was one of the collaborators on the team. When CREATE held two meetings in adjacent rooms, one regarding Vivid and the other for the Droid Racing Challenge, Jono had a decision to make. Given that Jono had attended Vivid before, and the team was offering pizza, the Vivid meeting naturally had more pull.

Jono worked on Crystallise during the last three month stretch of the project from March 2017, as part of the coding and construction teams. Reflecting on his experience being part of CREATE’s Vivid project, Jono shares: “It was well organised and coordinated, and I enjoyed every moment working with the team. But the best part was finishing the project and seeing Crystallise on display and how much people enjoyed it. It was great to see people on social media finding new and interesting ways to use and interact with it, and how popular the installation got with the amount of crowds that it was drawing.”

The whole project took a total of nine months to complete, with concept development and planning starting back in September 2016. CREATE is currently adding more patterns and interactive design to make Crystallise even better amidst plans to install the artwork at the UNSW Faculty of Engineering for exhibition.

You can find more details about Crystallise at the Vivid Sydney website here.