The RHS Chelsea Flower Show is an annual event celebrating horticulture and nature. Held over six days in May, the show takes place in the grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea in London. Attended by over 150,000 visitors each year, the show has become the calendar event to enjoy innovative garden design, delightful floral displays and state-of-the-art garden fixtures.
Landscape architect Joe Perkins collaborated with LEDFlex Group, Cinimod Studio and Sacha Molyneux to create a thought-provoking installation, named Hyphae, which was showcased within his pavilion, ‘The Meta Garden: Growing the Future’, which he co-designed with architect Farshad Khazei. The interactive Hyphae installation flawlessly weaving through the unconventional design of Joe’s pavilion resulted in an award winning collaboration, achieving gold at this year’s show.
Inspired by the mission to support British woodlands and forests for future generations, the installation was designed to shine a light on the crucial relationship between soil, fungi and plants, which together form the basis of resilient forest ecosystems. Set in Joe’s intrinsically crafted wooden pavilion was a central seating area sunken within the environment, displaying the unique interactive Hyphae installation which communicated the complex network of nature which runs beneath our feet. Visitors were prompted to sit themselves on the custom crafted wooden furniture by Johnson Bespoke and engage with the interactive coffee table, Hyphae. The spy mirror placed atop the table played a key role in concealing the mystery, however when triggered, it revealed the secret beauty of this otherwise normal looking coffee table. The fungi glowed in an array of colours, revealing an otherworldly and magical display.
The interactive roadmap began with Joe approaching Cinimod Studio to add a digital element into his Meta Garden. With an initial concept of the Hyphae coffee table drafted by Cinimod, talented sculptor and artist, Sacha Molyneux, along with premium lighting manufacturers, LEDFlex Group, came on board to bring the concept to life. While Sacha played an integral role in the installation by drawing on her skills to recreate intricate models of fungi, LEDFlex Group, with their extensive portfolio of lighting solutions as well as expert knowledge, were catalysts in illuminating Sacha’s fungi sculptures.
Using custom designed pixel lighting solutions, LEDFlex Group programmed pre-set scenes which were segregated into five separate zones. Each zone would transition to the next showing the growing communication between the fungal network. LEDFlex’s Technical Director, Andrew Greenwood, further worked closely with Joe to integrate the Hyphae lighting concept into the wider Meta Garden lighting in order to give a clear visual representation of mycelium network, delivering a highly complex and multi-layered environment that takes the viewer on a journey.
Speaking of the project, Dougal Drummond from Cinimod said: “As a studio, we pride ourselves on taking on design work within abstract and challenging environments. The juxtaposition of digitalism within the organic environment needed a complimentary and sympathetic approach to Joe’s design but needed enough imagination to create a compelling and artistic installation. It soon became very clear that the installation was to become a multi-layered collaboration very much in the spirit of the concept. We are delighted to have achieved a gold award for this beautiful concept and design.”
The response to the display was truly overwhelming. Visitors were instantly entranced and mesmerised by this ethereal display. Whilst the installation evoked a sense of awe, it is the deeper meaning which truly resonated with visitors, illuminating the connection between man and nature and the importance of harnessing the relationship with nature through design and the built environment. It created an understanding of the delicate network which runs through the flora and fauna which LEDFlex Group were able to translate with light.
“Working with Joe, Cinimod Studio and Sacha has been a pleasure. We have worked with Cinimod on several large scale installations, but the Meta Garden has given us a chance to collaborate on a detail oriented piece, and see first hand how their studio excels. I cannot congratulate Joe and his team enough on the gold medal. It has been a privilege to be part of the journey and see the attention to detail needed to deliver an award winning garden.” , Andrew Greenwood, LEDFlex Group
Photography: Natalia Odescalchi & Cinimod Studio.
Landscape & Garden Design Studio: Joe Perkins.
Interative Lighting Design: Cinimod Studio.
Sculptor & Artist: Sacha Molyneux.