This giant colourful honeycomb is called the SOL Dome. Made from thousands of interconnected fibre optics, the structure responds to its environment as if it were a living, breathing plant.
Created by London-based design firm Loop.pH, the SOL Dome was built in Midland, Michigan, for a local art festival that lasts through the end of the month. It’s relatively small and lightweight — eight metres by four metres, and it weighs only 40 kilograms. But what it lacks in size, it makes up for in animation. Its chicken wire-like frame is made of thousands of individual circles woven from composite fibres that change according to its surroundings. These loops are lighted by a circular matrix of solar-powered LEDs that create a symphony of light powered by a CO2 sensor. There’s a video below that shows a little bit about what that looks like in real life.
The whole design of the structure has a little science behind it too — the geometry of the SOL Dome is based on the chemical and molecular bonds between carbon atoms. Loop.pH says the SOL Dome is somewhat of a basis for what it sees as a future of building design:
Ultimately, we have a vision for an entirely new type of architecture that responds and adapts to its environment, similarly to a plant and its surrounding ecosystem. We dream of a living architecture that photosynthesises, moves and orientates in accordance to the sun. It is an architecture whereby the inhabitants can actively participate in its shape, form and function.