Since last November, Silver Lake residents strolling around town may have enjoyed, but not necessarily understood, this shiny, undulating installation on Silver Lake Boulevard. Thanks to USC's statement on the project, released this week, things are getting a little bit clearer.
Designed by USC architect professor Doris Kim Sung, the "Bloom" installation is made with 14,000 pieces of thermobimetal -- two thin sheets of metals, each with different expansion rates, laminated together. When the temperature rises, the metal sheets curl up. When it gets cooler, the sheets flatten out.
It's a beautiful art installation, but Sung's experiment has big implications for architecture as a whole, especially when it comes to saving energy. More information underneath the YouTube video explains what thermobimetal could mean for design and architecture: "Imagine a canopy that curls shut when the sun is directly overhead, or a vent that opens automatically to let out hot air when it gets a bit stuffy inside." "Bloom" incorporates both of these concepts.
Watch Sung's explanation of how her art installation works and how thermobimetal technology offers us a chance to rethink the way we live.