Corals for Christmas

A Christmas shop window installation incorporates notions of biomimicry into an awe-inspiring design.

The concepts “digital”, “installation”, “origami” and “coral reef” don’t seem to belong to the same project. That’s why the Laboratory for Visionary Architecture’s (LAVA) window installation for Italian department store la Rinascente is so mesmerising.

Created for the shop’s Contemporary Christmas Art windows, the installation is an origami coral reef. The reef comprises 1500 recycled and recyclable cardboard molecules, “exploring the intelligence of natural and architectural systems”.

Using geometrical structures similar to those of sea foam and corals, the reef plays with space by climbing up the walls while its given “life” with dynamic lighting and sound.

In what can be likened to a biomimicry, the installation shows how a particular module copied form nature can generate architectural space, and how the intelligence of the smallest unit dictates the intelligence of the overall system”.