The Woods Bagot design team describe their work:

Planet: Under Construction – or PUC – was a sculptural lighting installation made by a team from the Sydney studio of Woods Bagot as part of the Vivid 2013 Festival in Sydney.
As designers, we are involved in the creation of landscapes, buildings and cities. Using orange construction cones to symbolise our architectural work, we created a spherical lighting sculpture that mimics a planet. This celestial body features orange peaks as “volcanoes” that speak of energy and renewal.
Lights at its core escaped through cracks and holes in the structure, with lighting sequences affected by noise in the surrounding and a sensor mat set up nearby, creating an interactive element.
A smoke machine and music emanating from the sculpture, and PUC was made complete by a logo, stickers and a website.

1. Which came first – concept or location? How much does the location influence your creativity?

The concept came first – as we sketched our object, planning for an automatic and interactive lighting display as well as smoke, PUC began to take on a life of its own, developing a character that is fun, playful and instantly recognisable.

Continuing the theme of life’s processes instead of its outcomes, the installation took the form of an orb suspended in space. And we found the perfect place for PUC, hanging from the Cahill Expressway on the corner of George and Alfred Streets in Circular Quay. A raised circular platform almost seemed made for PUC.

PUC’s natural, ‘resting’ phase gently reacted to its external environment: by sensors around its base and by the vibration of trains passing overhead triggering a captivating glowing light and smoke display. 


3. What was your role & who did you collaborate with? What roles did they play?

Planet: Under Construction design team: Guillermo Fernandez, Young Lee, Penny Craswell, Danny Wehbe, Amanda Gore, Thomas Hale, India Collins, Sophie Bennet and Mohammed Khaled from Woods Bagot.

Consultants: Xenian, MySmartCTI, Paul King, Medland Metropolis, Welding and Fabrication, Partridge and Todds.

PUC Sponsors: Zenith, Woods Bagot, Stylecraft, Schiavello, BlueScope Steel, The Hardware Store, Rudder, HVG Decorative Building Products, Lightsounds and Antari Fog Machine.

Special thanks to Paul King, Darryl Chandler, Benjamin Williams, Adnan Saric, Jeremy Sparks and Scott Todd


4. How did you come to be a lighting installation artist? Are you working on any projects not for Vivid, you’d like to share?

Our team is a multidisciplinary group of designers at Woods Bagot’s Sydney studio working in architecture, interior design, graphics and design criticism who came together as a team for this project only.


5. Where do you see future for independent lighting sculptures & installations taking you?

We hope to form a team again for future creative collaborations.


6. Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Due to the impermanent nature of the project, the installation was designed to be substantially recyclable.

Upon removal the steel was recycled whilst the construction cones, smoke machine, lights and wiring were returned to their donors for re-use in other projects. The only waste product resulting from this installation was the bungee cord utilised to fix the cones to the structure. Low energy lighting was used, while the smoke machine uses organic, non-harmful gas.


text: Penny Craswell

View Previous
Every One, Every Day
View Next
Polka Kucha