Hong Kong-based artist collective the laboratory for Art and Architecture (LAAB) created Kaleidome, a colorful mirrored art installation that activates an empty plaza in Hong Kong’s Shatin Park. This “blossom of light-and-shadow interplay” is a kid-friendly artwork made up of 262 polyhedral cells cut from polished-stainless-steel mirror. Like a kaleidoscope, the color-tinted cells catch light and reflect different images of the surroundings, from the trees to passersby, to create beautiful ever-changing patterns.
The LAAB team designed and manually constructed the Kaleidome, also known as a Voronoi tessellation in mathematics, using digital fabrication techniques. The designers started by generating the form as a parametric computer model that determined the 22 shapes of the 262 polyhedral laser-cut cells. Thin layers of paint in different shades of red and blue were applied to the cells and the hard edges were carefully polished to meet safety regulations. The design team assembled the Kaleidome by hand. The digital fabrication process not only streamlined the design process, but also minimized the amount of waste generated during construction.
Although Hong Kong has hosted many public art installations, the Kaleidome is noteworthy as an interactive piece of art rather than a project to be viewed from a distance. The installation is also representative of the growing Makers’ Movement in Asia, in which designers use digital fabrication to both design and build a project. LAAB created Kaleidome as part of the 2015 Jockey Club Community Arts Biennale.