The Urban Coral is a participatory artwork exploring form, design and interaction through crafts and technology. We employ polyhedra, so far the dodecahedron and the icosidodecahedron, that engender abstract, parametric geometries and landscapes. We use the Himmeli craft technique as the basis for construction. During the workshops we show people how to use the technique and invite them to co-create a large art installation in a few hours. In some versions the installation can be ‘worn’ as headpiece and react to touch. In other versions the installation might resemble a familiar form, like a gate that traces movement to create a sonic landscape or an interactive luminaire. The Urban Coral is essentially an open-ended artwork, a structural tool using crafts and technology that can afford different uses, storytelling and forms that reflect the participatory process of creation.
For this vesrion we used the icosidodecahedron and, after making the separate modules, we synthesised them into a piece that can be ‘worn’. We also installed a set of handcrafted sensors and made it responsive to touch, hence when worn the installation lights up.
This project was realised in the context of the Random String Symposium, where more than 50 people joined us during five hours of making. We wish to thank them all, especially Olivia Holmes, Lewis Spencer, Afroditi Moulatsiotis, Kelly, Sii and Panagiotis Bitsioris. And of course Andrew Hannon for the images and video. We didn’t note all the participant names, so please send us your details if you took part in the project. We also wish to thank Ludic Rooms and Dom Breadmore for plotting this project with us.