The Spiral light sculpture

Fresh from their launch in Melbourne this week, newly formed design collective ADDITIVE have revealed their first major project entitled The Spiral.

ADDITIVE comprises of three well known lighting designers; Tom Wright, Paul Lim and Ben “Bosco” Shaw.

After years of working on productions and festivals around the world, these experienced professionals, and close friends, have joined forces to harness their collective industry experience and technical knowledge.

The marvel that is The Spiral resides in Robina shopping centre. Initially created as an alternative Christmas decoration, the chandelier has proved so effective and popular, the shopping centre has requested that it stays indefinitely

The client requested a feature that was stylish with the hint of traditional festivities, but avoiding the stock of standard Christmas lights. They wanted something bold and striking.

“The brief was very loose with a couple of chandelier images shown to us as an idea,” said Tom. “I presented five chandelier ideas, the fifth of which was the most complex to make and typically they chose that one!”

Fortunately ADDITIVE had the help of Michael Petrani of Diversity Rigging who turned Tom’s CAD drawing into a spiraling reality. At four and a half metres in length, this was no mean feat!

Tom has used several LED tube products in the past and knew they could be fiddly and temperamental so he was delighted to discover the ShowPro dreamPIX Tubes that were simply plug and play. The dreamPIX Tube enables awe-inspiring 3D eff­ects with a double-sided pixel mappable RGB tube and an easy-to-use ArtNet interface that works flawlessly with popular industry standard pixel mapping tools.

“Not only were they plug and play, they were in a price point that was completely attractive,” he said. “I could have paid less for some Chinese tubes that require a lot of extra effort to get to the same start point I would be out of the box with DreamPix. Alternatively, there are more expensive products out there, but they lack the elegant cabling and PSU of the DreamPix. With 150 LED tubes our elegant spiral could have been a cabling nightmare.”

With the dreamPIX, it is possible to use one cable for sixteen Tubes so Tom was able to have fifteen per PSU, with the ten PSU’s in a rack thirty metres away using a standard 4 pin cable. It really was plug and play!

“Plus The dreamPIX tubes are very bright, incredibly responsive and quick,” Tom reported. “The hanging bit on the top is fantastically versatile and allows several options. We were able to rig all our tubes quickly and efficiently, but we’re also keen to see what other configurations we could do in the future.”

Tom remarked that another advantage was that the PSU’s have ArtNet straight in and there is an Ethernet switch built in. This allows you to send one signal to a rack of PSU’s and daisy-chain them with small Ethernet cables. The PSU’s themselves are simple to use, set the IP address, tell it what universes to listen to and then, with one simple command, it assigns the DMX addresses to all the Tubes.

Whilst one rack is full of PSU’s, the other has two mini Mac computers; one running Bootcamp and MA onPC, the other the media server. At the moment the client only requires a white rainfall effect however ADDITIVE is hoping to increase The Spiral’s possibilities by making it an interactive sculpture where shoppers are able to change colour and effects via a touch panel.

Show Technology