The Bloom Games project was commissioned by the office of the Mayor of London, as part of the WONDER series of architectural installations to celebrate the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics.
To celebrate the notion of the games and democratise it by turning spectators into participants, Bloom aimed to bring the phenomena of social networks and gaming culture to the physical environment of the city. It resonated gaming cultures, and collective building units found in physical toys such as Lego and Rubik’s Cube, video games such as Minecraft and World of Goo, and finally social networks such as Facebook and Twitter.
Conceptualised as an urban toy—a distributed social game and collective “gardening” experience - it sought to engage people into the culture of crowd-sourced design. At each location an initial pavilion or a larger structure was constructed to showcase the possibilities of the system. These acted as the main “portals” of the game, inviting interaction and participation. Visitors were able to manipulate the components, adding pieces to the initial structure to alter its form, or creating an entirely new ground sequences.
The structure is based on the principle of discreteness and redundancy, recalling the emergent complexity of material systems in nature, and within the architecture of information systems. It reflects growth and the notion of change and life found within a gardening experience, rather than a more deterministic man-made design. Since the game sources its energy and creative invention from contingent play, it is impossible to forecast emergent outcomes within each event. Since its first appearance in multiple locations in London during the Olympics, Bloom has travelled to many venues and different contexts worldwide. Yet it always yields unpredictable and different structures, as a true expression of one of the complexity’s main principles of minimum input with maximum output. Only one component with 3 possible connections, unfolds into virtually infinite number of combinations when enriched with the contingency of creative human play.
Bloom is a part of the permanent collections of the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, FRAC Collection in Orleans, and NGV in Melbourne amongst others.