Making Visible ImpressionsInstallation + Exhibition

Our previous experiment marrying technology and art for Sterling Tools Limited was an extraordinary success in the 2014 Auto Expo – a massive grid of bolts that weighed several tons but appeared as light as a cobweb. The human endeavour to make something beautiful and impressionable is always a miraculous feat when the world of technology enters the artistic realm almost invisibly. Whether it is a tightrope walker on a wire or R2D2 in Star Wars, a scientific idea that appeals to the heart is the one that lasts. At Lopez Design, we have tried to do just this – bring the power of an idea as close to an emotive and tactile experience.

People visiting the STL stall are experts in their field and we really did not have to prove how nuts and bolts work. Instead, we wanted to show the power of imagination to fuel new paths through an interactive experience. The installation would be a talking point encouraging visitors to take photographs with a high recall value. Ultimately, we wanted the stall to bring an image that has a lasting memory.

Bolts are the prime products that STL manufactures and this necessarily had to be part of the display. The images of a bolt are of how they go through and through to create permanence in a product. Bolts and nuts are part of the foundation of a structure. How could we retain these aspects and still go beyond?

We wanted to engage people with a playful aspect that would encourage them to interact with the design. Based on a game where you can engage with a cushion of pins to make various impressions, the depression on one side creating a positive on the other side, we evolved a wall of bolts. 

Our final installation was a wall of bolts in a rectangular frame 10 feet long and 8 feet high. It has a dense grid of pins made of aluminum cylinders three quarter-inch diameter. In all there were almost 4800 anodized pins with bolts embedded on both sides. The wall of hexagonal heads shimmered in a copper hue, attracting visitors to come and explore. When you pushed the pins with an object, you get a negative impression of the shape on one side and a positive on the other.

The nicest part of the installation was its endless flexibility – any number of shapes and words can be created. This leaves the visitor with lasting images associated with STL of how technology can be innovative, grounded and flexible and most of all, how each individual can interact with it to make his or her own impression. This personal component is one of the strongest satisfaction elements of the installation in a world that is becoming increasingly individualistic. Our clients loved it and once again, the installation will become a feature of the display room at their Prithla plant.

Display shelves at the STL stall visually echoed the grid of bolts in a red background with dots. The SS shelves displayed the bolts with clarity. In a clever detail, the shelves have customized slots to match the bolt head and the product clicks into position attracted to the magnetic surface below. The nifty display allows products to get prominence without fussy visible attachments.



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