Art meets technology: Adding beauty to city construction site

Master of Architecture student Houzhi Du is behind a new artwork, entitled Rain, which has been installed at the Melbourne Grand apartment development site in the CBD.

Rain was the winning submission chosen from a series of proposals designed by multi-disciplinary groups of RMIT students, with contributions from the School of Art, School of Media and Communication, School of Architecture and Urban Design and the School of Economics, Finance and Marketing.

The installation is the result of a shared initiative between property developer Central Equity, construction company Multiplex, Wonderment Walk Victoria and RMIT.

Houzhi’s design used virtual technology to render raindrops in the moment they touch the ground.

“Instead of being 'drawn', the raindrops were calculated using a continuous 3D mechanical simulation,” he said.

“I hope the installation will encourage people to find time to reflect on the beauty of small moments, which otherwise go unnoticed in busy urban life.”

'Rain' was the winning entry chosen from submissions designed by multi-disciplinary groups of students.

Houzhi designed the submission as part of the Activating Construction Site elective, led by Grace Leone and Dr Jan van Schaik, in which students from various disciplines are given the chance to work with real-world briefs.

He said he learned a lot from working with real-life professional clients.

“I needed to explain my ideas to them, which required me to use my presentation skills and constantly think about how I was responding to the brief.”

Eddie Kutner, Charmain of Central Equity and Wonderment Walk Victoria, said he hoped the project would act as inspiration for future CBD creative projects.

“We want to add interest and beauty to busy construction sites and encourage other developers to do the same,” Kutner said.

“Central Equity and Wonderment Walk Victoria are delighted to be collaborating with RMIT and Multiplex on this project.”

Houzhi also thought it was important for public art to be integrated into the city – to be “not confined to one place but scattered in all corners of the city waiting to be discovered.”

Following the success of this partnership, the project is continuing with another temporary public artwork already underway on the site.

Story: Jasmijn van Houten

13 February 2019

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13 February 2019

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  • Architecture

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