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Dazzling Digital Dandelions

Cheryn Tan discovers an interactive dandelion display that captures the magic of childhood.

Dazzling Digital Dandelions


March 2nd, 2010

A giant dandelion sways against the backdrop of an azure sky, beckoning curious onlookers. It’s impossible to resist the urge to pick up the hairdryer, and direct a gust of wind at the dandelion, scattering its seeds in all directions.

But lo and behold – they reassemble, defying all laws of nature, and the dandelion resumes its original, unassuming state.

Blending memories of childhood with a touch of magic – that is, technical wizardry – Sennep and Yoke have created a giant interactive dandelion, currently on display at ‘Decode: Digital Design Sensations’ at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

“We love exploring how people interact with objects and environments, and it is from our experiments using wind or air for this purpose that the Dandelion idea has evolved,” adds Matt Rice, founder of London-based design studio Sennep.

Originally commissioned by onedotzero for an exhibition of motion graphics and interactive design at the V&A in 2006, Sennep set out to create a simple, but enchanting new piece to balance the permanent objects within the museum.

Inspired by delicate European floral dresses within the exhibition, they modified a hairdryer to create an illusion of air blowing the projected dandelion’s seeds across the historic dresses.

The original creation has since been updated by interaction design studio Yoke, as founder Lars Jessen says: “Using the very latest in 3D gaming software we tweaked the Dandelion for this latest showing – it gives a great sense of depth and subtle movement as you point the hairdryer towards the sky.”

Delighting children and adults alike, the giant dandelion is on exhibition until 11 April.





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