Every year the Sydney skyline bursts into light and over 2 million people from around the world flock to see a city transformed.
Vivid Sydney is one of the largest attractions of the year and for the last 10 years the CREATE team has gathered a group of dedicated students together to design, propose and build a major light installation.
For 9 months the CREATE Project Illuminate Team has worked tirelessly to bring our idea to life. 3 of those months were spent working with UNSW Art and Design to brainstorm, design and propose our project to Destination NSW. It was here The Celestial Pancake was born. With 17,500 LEDs, 10 kms of wire and 10kg of solder, we knew that this was going to be a huge undertaking.
Once our idea was realised we moved into manufacturing. 6 months of blood, sweat and tears were poured into building our celestial pancake (and with a diameter of 8m there was a LOT of all three). The James N Kirby Makerspace became a second, and in some cases first, home for us all with wire strippers and soldering irons becoming an extension of our own limbs. But it was university experience that a lot of our team had not had before. As engineering students we spend hours memorising and calculating formulas, but the ability to apply these problem solving techniques to real life situations is something that is gained when we get into the thick of the project. Getting your hands dirty and seeing something you have been apart of since the beginning be realised and come to fruition has to be the most rewarding parts of becoming an engineer.
After a stressful game of tetris transferring the structure into the back of a truck (think speed building frames to ensure none of the electronics get damaged and rotating around 3 axis to get the snuggest fit possible) you can find the Celestial Pancake hanging 3 metres overhead in the Overseas Passenger Terminal in Circular Quay.
I would like to express sincere thanks to all of those involved. I would also like to personally thank Matthew Payor for his structural expertise and ongoing banter, Mahima Mandel for her coding prowess and premium coffee taste, Luke Jackson for his reliability and commitment as well as his house guest etiquette and finally to Joshua Sun who assured that our stakeholders were kept sunny side up. Further, on behalf of the team I would like to acknowledge the contributions of the UNSW Faculties of Engineering, Built Environment and Art and Design.
Until next year - Keep it Lit.