This spectacular lighting show was projected on a screen of water underneath Tokyo’s Rainbow Bridge. It seamlessly blends digital mediums into a temporal public artwork.

Via Lost at E-Minor | Tokyo’s Odaiba Water Illumination Show

PROJECT Lanternen Sandnes
LOCATION Sandnes, Ragna Stakland, Norway
CLIENT Sandnes kommune and Norwegian Wood Group of Reference
DESIGN AWP Architects and Atelier Oslo
YEAR 2009

The Lantern, the product of collaboration between Awp Architects and Atelier Oslo, represents a new approach for the designers in thinking about public space design. The structure, lifted more than one storey off the ground and supported by informally positioned solid oak stilts, juxtaposes notions of shelter and openness to create a new public landmark and meeting place for the town of Sandnes. In an innovative approach, the designers have used contemporary materials such as translucent glass layered in the traditional method of slated roof tiles. The familiar roof form both complements the surrounding buildings and stands out like a lantern by night.

Via Architectural Review | Lanternen Sandnes, Ragna Stakland, Norway, Awp Architects + Atelier Oslo

PROJECT Niyang River Visitor Centre
LOCATION Daze Village, Linchi, Tibet
DESIGN Standardarchitecture-Zhaoyang Studio, Beijing, China
PHOTOGRAPHY Chen Su
YEAR 2009

Via dezeen | Niyang River Visitor Center by Standardarchitecture-Zhaoyang Studio


Judy Watson pictured with her Freshwater Lens artwork, suspended beneath the Turbot Street overpass in Brisbane.

Judy Watson’s Freshwater Lens artwork, part of the newly redeveloped Little Roma Street urban oasis, was officially opened last Thursday night. Special guests included Indigenous elder Uncle Bob Anderson, who spoke about country.

PROJECT KAUST International Art Program
LOCATION King Abdullah University of Science & Technology (KAUST), Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
ARTIST Carsten Höller
ARTWORK Spheres
ENGINEERS Robert Bird Group Engineers
LIGHTING Norman Disney & Young
ART MANAGEMENT Urban Art Projects
YEAR 2009

One of 15 international artists selected for the KAUST International Art Program, Carsten Höller has presented a series of large scale Spheres in white brass. Three spheres, each 2.2m in diameter, are positioned in the north entry spine of the university campus. The spheres are based upon a human scale, designed to be entered through the large, round openings.

Carsten Höller first presented the Sphere project in Basel’s Museum for Contemporary Art in 1998. The spheres are informed by the legacy of 1940s scientist and philosopher Buckminster ‘Bucky’ Fuller, who sought to make the most efficient shape out of the least material. Fuller’s legacy is enduring: the sphere is at once the stuff of sci-fi fantasy as well as of the familiar, reminiscent of everyday objects such as soccer balls.

In the context of the KAUST campus, the Spheres speak of the importance of science and technology and the capacity to imagine and be innovative, a core mission of KAUST.


Complex mathematical modelling was required for the construction of Höller’s Spheres. UAP was recognised as Autodesk Inventor of the month in July 2009 for work on the KAUST International Art Program and similar public art projects.

PROJECT KAUST Art Program
LOCATION Campus Mosque, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
ARTIST Nja Mahdaoui
ENGINEERS Robert Bird Group Engineers
LIGHTING Norman Disney & Young
ART MANAGEMENT Urban Art Projects
YEAR 2009

The vast contribution of Islam to poetry and literature is almost immeasurable, its influence on Western culture far reaching and frequently cited.  One of 15 international artists selected as part of the KAUST International Art Program, Nja Mahdaoui’s work explores this rich literary tradition in ancient and contemporary Islamic culture through the aesthetic form of the letters and words. Mahdaoui’s abstraction of the calligraphy encourages the viewer to create his or her own poetry as it were. Sited on the sacred minaret and the surrounding mashrabiyyah screening for the KAUST mosque, Mahdaoui’s embedded work complements the spirituality of the site and its purpose.

“The use of fragments of letters or symbols in my work is due to my instinctive rejection of the transfiguration of the value of characters,” explains the artist, ” In calligraphy the written letters acquire a symbolic status which they maintain until they vehicle a significance. But as soon as the letter loses its contours, the reader is bound to resort to his imagination in order to reach the meaning of the word.

“My view is to freely exit the graphic structure of the Arab letters or the verb syntax and the structure of the style. It is because I believe that the final objective is a work of art which materials are meaning loaded symbols. I have tried to extract the original signification power of these materials in order to achieve an aesthetic of form. I hope the reader does not remain confined to the visual content but that he rather journeys through a prose in process.”


Visualisation of the KAUST Mosque by night.


The screens cast intricate patterns in the Mosque’s interior.