Client: Edmonton Valley Zoo
Primary Investigator(s): Jason S. Johnson, Guy Gardner
Project Budget: $3, 500
Designer: Darryl Pollock
Fabrication Team: Guy Gardner, Rutvi Gajjar, Anagha Patil,
Darryl Pollock, Ji Song Sun, Kim Tse,
Funding Agencies: Edmonton Valley Zoo / City of Edmonton
The Meridiem project was created for the winter Zoominesence festival of light hosted by the Edmonton Valley Zoo. The goal of the project was to create an interactive light installation which communicated a theme surrounding the environmental stewardship that the zoo strives for. In this, the project was designed using solely recyclable, recycled, and energy efficient materials – the main material being 3d extruded recycled plastics and bio plastics.
The design concept also speaks to this theme of environmentalism with the following statement:
Trees are integral to the worldwide ecosystem. Apart from aiding in flood prevention, purifying our air, filtering our water, and providing a buffer against climate change, trees are home to approximately 60,000 diverse species. Even with this knowledge, deforestation due to logging, agricultural plantations, and mining continues to be a problem. Orangutans, giant pandas, rhinos, and the Asian elephant are just a few of hundreds of endangered species due to deforestation. Removing trees thins the forest canopy which is meant to block sun rays. This disruption leads to extreme temperature swings that are harmful to plants and animals. Many animals, insects, and plants lose their habitats and may become endangered or go extinct. Without trees, climate change and species depletion become a serious reality.
Meridiem asks us to rediscover the beauty of trees and re-evaluate our relationship with them. The installation will consist of three flared columns which connect at the top to form a canopy for zoo goers to walk through. The canopy will is lit with colour-changing LEDs. Proximity sensors allow the lighting to shift in response to the movement of visitors around the installation. This symbolizes how human interaction can change our environment and signify how our presence makes an impact. This impact can be positive or negative, the choice is ours.