The Lotus Dome is made out of hundreds of ultra-light aluminum flowers that fold open in response to human movement.
Designer and artist Daan Roosegaarde is interested in the interplay between the digital and analog worlds. To that end, his work often explores the interaction between people, space and technology. The Lotus Dome created by Roosegaarde’s studio is a giant metallic-looking orb that responds to human behavior as if it were living itself.
The dome is made from a special ‘smart foil’ that is made from several thin layers of Mylar, the foil gives the appearance of petals and react to light like a flower might, folding open and closed when touched by the rays. As people move around the orb, motion sensors cause the light to follow them and the petals open in response, given the impression that it is the dome itself that is reacting to the movement. The more people that interact with the dome, the more lively it becomes.
It’s sort of an animal in that way. We call it a soft machine, with half animal qualities and half technological qualities.
Originally commissioned for, and displayed in, Sainte Madeleine Church in Lille, France, the Lotus Dome was within Zedekiah’s Cave, Jerusalem, an old limestone quarry that runs for five city blocks beneath the Old City, as part of the annual Light Festival.
See a video of the Lotus Dome come to life in Lille: