Borrowed Nature

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Borrowed Nature
Location: Shenzhen
Client: Design Society
Service: Landscape and Art, Installation, Design and Fabrication
Status: Completed
Project Team: Yutaka Yano, Sky Lee, Roy Ip Tsz Wan, Allan Au, Wing Kiu Lau, Dorothy Kan Kin Leung
Supporting Organisation: This project was realised with kind support from Design Trust and Marisa Yiu

Borrowed Nature is art installation commissioned by Design Society which opened on 1st December 2017 as part of the inaugural ‘Minding The Digital’ exhibition in the Main Gallery.

It is the latest development in our studio research and ongoing exploration in kinetic structures which has been refined and developed in the studio.

In the Digital Encounter zone, Borrowed Nature is part of the exploration of how human and machines intelligence meet in design, and to question where human values such as connections to traditions, craftsmanship and the environment will be integrated in the future.

The exhibition is designed by MVRDV and considers the myriad forms of digital creativities critical to China’s shift from a historic manufacturing centre to its current reinvention as an innovative hub.

Accompanying the exhibition is Minding the Digital’ publication designed by Studio Thonik, edited by Design Society and published by Tongji University Press which features our essay ‘Interpreting Landscape in the Digital Era’.


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Gift of Light

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Gift of Light
Location: Hong Kong SAR.
Service: Design and Production of Lighting Prototype
Status: Completed
SKY YUTAKA Team: Yutaka Yano, Sky Lee, Viola Sze Wing Poon

Gift of Light is a lighting design installation that focuses on the visual essence of light, combining simple forms which play with apertures and materials to sculpt the light. The enclosure can be re-configured to adapt to different environments and provide functional and decorative use which encourages interaction between the space, surface and people.  Working with key sponsor Megaman to experiment with a diverse range of fittings and specify specific fixtures.

Launched at the K11 Art Space, Cosco Tower in Sheung Wan and voted winner of both Judges and Popular Vote Prizes, the installation has potential to be developed for future development for furniture and ambient lighting displays.

Bi-City Biennale of Architecture\Urbanism (Hong Kong)

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Bi-City Biennale of Architecture\Urbanism (Hong Kong)
Location: Kowloon Park, Hong Kong
Size: Biennale exhibition featuring works of 60 artist, designers and architects
Client: HKIABF
Service: Curation, Exhibition Design, Development of Associated Programs, Forums, Workshops, and Project Management
Status: Completed
SKY YUTAKA Team: Yutaka Yano, Sky Lee, Karen Kwok Nga Lam, Zero Yip Chau Kit, Milky Choi Ying Fung, Yip Wing Siu, Redelle Lee

Sarah and Yutaka were selected as part of the Hong Kong curatorial team led by Professor Christine Hawley for the 2015 Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism \ Architecture * Hong Kong.

The Hong Kong & Shenzhen Bi-City Biennale is a three month event that is shared by the two cities under an innovative “Two Cities, One Biennale” approach. Aimed at promoting education and public discussion around a dynamic programme of architecture, urbanism, design and culture, the team bring both a strong international and local approach to what will be the sixth biennale in a sequence of events organised by the Hong Kong Institute of Architects Biennale Foundation in association with the Hong Kong Institute of Planners and Hong Kong Designers Association.

With over 220,000 visitors during the event period, the highest attendance in the event’s history was made possible through the main exhibition, development of a 3-month programme both at the Heritage Discovery Centre, Kowloon Park and satellite venues and online media and gallery. Support from renowned cinematographer Christopher Doyle, and first-time screenings for major documentary films by Edward Burtynsky and Jan Gehl, encouraged a mix of audience and a platform for insightful discussions to be held.

With collaborative support of local universities and institutions, practices and the participants, a diverse programme enabled conversations and a wide range of aspects focused on Hong Kong’s urban environment from the past to the future.


Biennale Publication:

Part-01 Essays and Curatorial Team

Part-02 Exhibitions

Rain Flower

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Rain Flower
Location: Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu, Hong Kong
Client: Lane Crawford
Service: Concept Design, fabrication of prototypes, Project Management
Status: Completed
Photos: Lane Crawford
SKY YUTAKA Team: Yutaka Yano, Sky Lee, Tammy Lee, John Lau Kai Yin, Venus Lee Chuen Fan,  Yip Wing Siu

Our concept for the installation proposal is build on the practice’s ongoing design research into responsive architecture that reflects upon human needs to adapt to ever changing environment. The fundamental nature of architecture is to respond to the surrounding world through construction of new built environment, helping us to better adapt to external forces and continue to evolve our way of life into the future which have developed over many generations.

The design proposal celebrates this evolution of Lane Crawford and innovation at the heart of the brand with the Rain Flower installation which presents a refined articulation of this responsive structure rather than focusing on aspect of its tectonic and engineering mechanism.

Triggered by water sensors and reflective glass plates containing constant circulation of water representing the rainfall, the Rain Flower responds to the flow of water by gently opening and closing its petals repeatedly to provide protection or protect itself from the elements. All the kinetic motions are achieved through use of series of carefully adjusted counterweight mechanism so that it uses minimum amount of energy to perform its protective movement.

Light Flower

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Light Flower
Location: Shanghai
Client: Swarovski, Lane Crawford
Service: Concept Design, fabrication of Prototypes and the final installation
Status: Completed
SKY YUTAKA Team: Yutaka Yano, Sky Lee, Tammy Lee, Wing Wu Tsz

Light Flower is a movement responsive lighting device installation for the Lane Crawford x Swarovski project as part of Lane Crawford’s Platform programme.

The device has an external envelope made from paper and bamboo frame using the techniques of the traditional Chinese paper crafts. The envelope is made to contract and expand with carefully engineered aluminium frameworks behind with stepper motor controlled by micro-controller and IR sensor which detects the movement of the surrounding people which trigger the movement of the flower.

Seemingly traditional appearance of paper cladding is set against contrasting aluminium engineered structure is our attempt to respond to the brief calling for design which aspired to the future while finding inspiration in the traditional culture.

Swarovski crystal are carefully positioned on the moving aluminium frames which catches and disperse the lights to create changing lighting patterns on the surrounding surfaces.

Mobile Exhibition Gallery for Peugeot

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Mobile Gallery
Size: Three medium sized trailers
Client: Peugeot UK
Status: completed
Service (In association with Circus Architects): Architecture, Project Management

The mobile exhibition gallery is designed to travel around UK and Europe for promotional purpose and to host events. The design concept allows for 3 mobile structures that can function individually or join together to form a larger exhibition space, which can all be deployed by single person on site. The circular plan and transparent envelope allow for multidirectional access to the gallery space and transition between outside and inside.

Working closely with specialist contractor, the dynamic mobile structure went through design development to meet the stringent technical criteria.