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Cherry Blossom
Cooper-Hewitt Museum, Design Triennial, New York
  • Year
  • 2003
  • Type
  • Interactive Installation
Overview

Cherry Blossom is situated in the center of the Grand Staircase of the museum. The installation is an intervention in an existing path, thereby turning everyone who is walking up or down the stairs into a performer. A two-story high semi-cylinder in the middle of the staircase serves as a projection screen. Through surveillance cameras the system is monitoring the traffic on the staircase. When someone walks on the stairs, each step triggers the projection of a ring of swirling cherry blossoms, relative to that step, accompanied by a sound effect. The more people there are on the staircase, the more blossoms get triggered, resulting in an opulent display of shades of pink illuminating the space. Over time the blossoms disintegrate and the petals fall apart and fade away. When no one is on the staircase, the projection turns into falling snow, suggesting that it is people’s movement that is a source of warmth and beauty.

Concept, Design and Production: Masamichi Udagawa, Sigi Moeslinger
Tower Fabrication: Kazuaki Sugi
Sound and Animation Behavior Programming: James Tu
Computer Modelling: Bruce Pringle
Sound: Jeff Feddersen
Production Assistant: Dan Seiple

Press & Awards
Design Distinction, Environments, ID Magazine Annual Design Review, 2004
Cherry Blossom Installation
Axis Japan
Angle: Cherry Blossom, Prototype: Executive PDA, November 2003
The New York Times
Design Review: A Frontier Spirit in Anxious Times, April 25, 2003
I.D. Magazine
Craft American, Cherry Blossoms, April 2003