Giant Advent Calendar
- Qualia Creative Pty Ltd
- Collins Square Management
The giant advent calendar was a Christmas retail activation in Collins Square foyer last year (Dec 2019.) Situated on the ground floor of Towers One and Two of the Docklands precinct corporate building it was at the heart of the human traffic thoroughfares. The deconstructed cube and plinth was constructed from MDF and measured 3.5 cubic metres. The gloss black plinth contrasted with the gloss white cube which was finished with a pearl mirrored vinyl snowflake pattern. The contemporary neutral palette was chosen to extend on and complement the existing architectural interior of gloss black, gold and silver.
The cube was constructed from individual 50cm cubes that had laser cut numbered doors, each with a black matt interior, illuminated with hidden energy efficient long-life lights to create a glowing interior that housed gifts and donations from all the retailers in the building. As the doors were laser cut the numbers illuminated when the doors were closed. Doors were individually locked with small, black traditional padlocks. On the corresponding date, each door would be opened to reveal the daily gift. The construct was meticulously designed and constructed so as to appear (from differing angles) as if sections were floating.
One of the key requirements was that this artwork be reusable. This was in fact the second year it had been on display. The installation was designed in a manner that the form could disassemble into a series of movable clusters, likewise the base and fencing. The entire design whilst built from plywood was repainted and re-skinned with graphics each year for a more environmental and affordable design solution. During a retail period renowned for excess we tried to design a solution that embraced the wonder and festivity of Christmas while keeping as the design as efficient and environmentally considerate as possible.
Creating a retail Christmas experience that feels heartfelt can be a difficult challenge. The calendar design was developed with the hope of creating an activation that promoted the generosity of the local retailers in the building while genuinely creating a sense of wonder for the general public, a design that spoke to the individual. Over the course of the month, as doors opened and closed, lights came on and off people experienced the life of the design in a subtle way, one that quietly surprises. Hopefully amongst all the madness here was something that felt more like a gift than a hard sell.
The installation was visible from the north at the Collins Street main entrance, the west via Batmans Hill Drive and from above on the plaza level. These multiple site lines greatly informed the design process. The oversized snowflake pattern was designed to be completely visible from a distance across the face of the installation but as viewers got closer the pattern became more abstract. One of the key characteristics of the pearl mirrored vinyl was it reflected light that changed coloured depending on the angle so as people moved towards the installation the snowflake appeared to change colours.