Traffic cones are good for accomplishing one task: directing traffic. They aren't an obvious candidate for creative reuse, but architecture firm Woods Bagot recently used the bright orange cones to make this large lamp, which looks sort of like a large glowing sea urchin. The interactive installation, dubbed Planet: Under Construction (PUC), is made of 200 traffic cones strapped to a metal structure with bungee cord. Part of this year’s Vivid Sydney Festival of Light, Music and Ideas, PUC is one of the first lighting sculptures that can be seen walking from the city to Circular Quay.
The installation is the brainchild of a team of nine designers from Woods Bagot’s Sydney studio who built it using the simple geometry of a sphere and adding interactive elements that made it take a life of its own. At least two people were needed for the attaching of the cones — one inside the structure and one outside.
Mimicking a celestial body, the orb features orange spikes that represent volcanoes and speak of energy and renewal. In its resting state, PUC creates a gentle pulse which can be interrupted either by standing on a sensor mat or by the vibration of the train passing overhead. Equipped with interactive lighting programming, the installation reacts to sounds and emits lighting patterns through the holes between the traffic cones. It also features a smoke machine and plays music while it glows like a giant orange orb at Sydney’s Circular Quay.