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“Sun” flower is an urban installation specifically designed  for post-COVID-19 era. This bright flower symbolizes the light from people’s hearts and encourages them to move forward in adversity.


Project: Self-initiated

About: Installation design / Interaction design

Timeline: Fall 2020 (1 month)

Tools Used: Miro, Illustrator, Blender, Arduino

The Impact of Covid-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a huge impact on the world in 2020. People are experiencing unprecedented challenges in their lives, work, and health. Against this backdrop, the distance between people is widened whilst socialization opportunity is limited. 


According to BBC News, “Increased social isolation, loneliness, health anxiety, stress and an economic downturn are a perfect storm to harm people’s mental health and wellbeing,” said Prof Rory O’Connor, one of the paper’s authors, from the University of Glasgow. ” 


The anxiety and depression caused by the pandemic negatively affected the mental health condition of people, including that of mine as a tough time was gone through. During that period, I found it hard to manage pressure in a closed environment, thus felt seriously anxious and fragile. As a designer, I couldn’t directly solve the problems that the pandemic triggers, but I can mitigate it in a poetic and artistic way and contribute my part to project positive energy, thus calling for something healing to help people generate a sense of happiness and regain the passion and hope for life.

Ideation: Explore Origami Shapes

I made several different mockup iterations to find out the most suitable structure for my design. 


Design Brief

The urban installation “sun” flower blossoms in darkness only, the darkness represents this helpless, uncomfortable, and depressive period that people experienced. So the design aims at bringing people light and hope, whose configuration symbolizes the inner courage and strength of everyone. “Sun” flower is widely accepted as a beautiful existence in nature. Each flower will struggle to bloom to its fullest, which is also the best moment in its life.

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Top View

(Flower Open)

Front View

(Flower Close)

Front View

(Flower Bloom)

Design Ideation: Finalized Concept

After first round testing, I chose this mockup to further develop because it has the most flexible structure. The idea of the “Sun” flower is originated from the lovely spring snowflake, which symbolizes hope, hardiness, and courage to venture forth. The shape of the “Sun” flower is relatively special and beautiful, as the overall design takes design aesthetics into consideration. 


Specifically, this flower consists of petals of different sizes and small but detailed flower core. Visual balance is also achieved as elements of points, lines, and planes are varied but with arrangement organized and main parts highlighted, providing the flower with features of dynamic and variety. The “Sun” flower is of nice shape whether the bud is opened or closed as different types of beauty are presented.

Technical Setup & Concepts

“Sun” flower is set to be in full bloom in dim light and in a closed state in bright. When the surrounding goes darker, the LED lights inside will gradually turn brighter with petals expands simultaneously. The LED brightness is controlled by the Arduino circuit board based on luminous intensity data obtained whilst the status change of petals is controlled by a mechanical motor and fishing line.

The lower motor controls the petals to open to its maximum, and the upper motor controls the petals from half-open to fully closed. These two motors helps the petals expand to a fully expanded state.


Prototyping Process & Testing

Use daily use tools and cardboards to test in the design process.

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Flower Open

Working Progress

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Flower Bloom

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Flower Close




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Tracing Paper

Thai Metallic Thread 
Unryu/Mulberry Paper

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IMG_7794 (1) (1).HEIC

​Final Prototype

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