Columns of Babel, Melbourne, 2020

Proposed for  2021 NGV ARCHITECTURE COMMISSION by Studio Nic Bao , VSDO and CX Landscape

3D QR code system on the surface of Columns

“Columns of Babel” are two interconnected fields of monoliths (the dark field the light field) formed by an array of totem-like, sculptural 3D printed columns. These 2 fields are interconnected with another group of columns, forming a symbolic colonnade and a transition between two domains.

Main inspiration of this design came after seeing the photos of two kids playing with a charred forest in the background after the 2019-’20 bushfires posted by Aboriginal scholar Vanessa Cavanagh. The dark field” composed by black columns represents grief, reality and past; the “light field” is created by white columns representing hope, imagination and vision to the future. 

Both fields are equally proportioned and configured, echoing communities evolve in time through wisdom and vision. Colonnades connecting 2 fields constitute “present time”, a place where the dialogue between two domain echoes, as the brightness of the future shines upon the past. 

Rather simple, spatial arrangement accommodates multiple functions, events and leisurely walking, creating various deep single-point perspective views, as well as dramatic, theatrical backdrops.