The Urchins are a unique installation project of Choi+Shine Architects, an award-winning international design firm known for their experimental and free-thinking approach to projects. This installation was created for Singapore’s i Light Marina Bay Festival, an annual celebration of unique design underpinned by a theme of sustainability.
Three of these delicate and pale-looking structures were created for the festival where they remained on display for visitors to experience first-hand. Attendees were invited to step inside the billowy design and handle the polyester cords with which it was made. The Urchins take clear inspiration from the small marine invertebrate that makes seafloors and rockpools their home. Choi+Shine Architects chose to emulate the intricate mathematical patterns that make up the thin shell of this globular creature to express the beauty and diversity of nature.
It was the goal of the designers to achieve an unusual kind of visual contrast with this project – that the fragile-looking Urchins would counterbalance the hard, citified skyline of its surrounding area. To help create the vast swathes of crochet polyester, the company enlisted some 50 people to produce different sections of each structure. The Urchins were created in 10 weeks total, each having some 1700 meters of polyester strands in its skin.
“The lace symbolically weaves different people and cultures, while physically, the openings in the surface create patterns of light against the sky, water and city, a juxtaposition of a permeable surface on different visual layers,” say the designers, “The softly glowing, hovering lace Urchins create visual poetry celebrating the cultural diversity of Singapore.”