previous arrowprevious arrow
next arrownext arrow


Design Development, Kinetics, Activation Design, Programming, Installation
amigo & amigo

Fugu was created by amigo & amigo for Vivid Sydney in 2018. The piece is a giant illuminated puffer fish which interactively inflates and deflates according to input from a mechanical crank handle accessible by the audience.

This piece posed a serious challenge with regard to its kinetic elements; being made nearly entirely from clear acrylic sheet, traditional metallic mechanical components had little place to hide so had to be carefully integrated into the design such that they were hidden in plain sight. However, this then brought the additional challenge of ensuring the system was both powerful and strong enough to initiate and sustain movement for the 3+ weeks the piece was on display in First Fleet Park. The final design I produced involved 40 fish-bone-like profiles which progressively engaged and disengaged with one another as the leading profile was driven by a stepper motor. This resulted in a flat pose, and a puffed pose, with an elegant and mesmerising dynamic progression between the two.

To illuminate the piece a custom strip light channel structure was designed which allowed 10 1.6m lengths of digital RGB LED strip light to be mounted within the spine of the fish. This provided the ability to create striking lighting effects by taking advantage of the internal reflection property of acrylic.

To control the entire system, I designed a custom controller solution which synchronously handled the lighting, motor control, and interactive crank handle input. Upon this I built a light show which balanced pre-defined lighting patterns with interactive stages to provide passive audience members a beautiful show whilst ensuring crowd flow at the interaction point could be maintained by limiting interactive response to specific periods.