Illuminating Innovation

How the Rundle Lantern Lit Up Public Imagination

Illuminating Innovation Illuminating Innovation

The challenge

The Revolutionary Rundle Lantern

Fusion were one of six firms invited to pitch for the opportunity to invigorate the corner of Pulteney and Rundle Streets in Adelaide's CBD. We were a “wild card” entrant - the only non-architectural firm asked to submit concepts.

Our design solution was to create a “lantern” for the city to use as a dynamic cultural canvas. Our vision was to add beauty to people’s lives without affecting the environment, working with current structures, and putting Adelaide on the global map.

The competition was tough, but our bold, simple ideas engaged the Adelaide City Council and we won the pitch.


Industrial Design / Digital Innovation

Good for Adelaide and the Environment Good for Adelaide and the Environment

The Development

Good for Adelaide and the Environment

The Rundle Latern is 7-storeys high and is made up of 748 square panels, each illuminated by two huge LED lights. All LED lights are 100% powered by solar technology, meaning the cost to run the lantern and its environmental footprint are very low.

Upon completion, the Rundle Lantern won three category awards in the 2009 South Australian Architecture Awards - for Urban Design, Collaborative design and the prestigious Adelaide Prize.

As a result of the state win, the Rundle Lantern was entered into the National Architecture Awards, held in October 2009, and received a National Commendation for Urban Design.


Light Up The Night

While looking the part, we also developed a way to allow the public to interact with the lantern as they stand in front of it.

Users can tweet at the lantern a select group of hashtags, that corresponds to an animation. Once the lantern has received the tweet, it adds the animation to the queue, before eventually showing it on the panels. This ability allows the public to dicate the art of a public space - something that had never been done in Adelaide before. Check out the hashtags available here.

We also developed a rich-media web application that allows people to upload and preview how their video content would be represented if delivered on the Rundle Lantern. It’s a great way for budding artists all over the globe to see their ideas come to life in a public space.

Light Up The Night
A City's Cultural Canvas A City's Cultural Canvas


A City's Cultural Canvas

The first use of the web application was La Lumiere, an Adelaide Fringe event that brought together a select group of 20 South Australian digital artists to create content that was showcased on the Lantern throughout the duration of the Fringe Festival.

The Rundle Lantern has been operational for 10 years, and is a cultural landmark in the city of Adelaide.

The Adelaide City Council continue to use the latern to celebrate holidays and events throughout the year.

Tim Kotiakos

This work shows us how interdisciplinary digital work can be. That it's sometimes OK to invite a little abstraction into our lives, and how well it can engage a community. With it's oversized pixel sequences, the Rundle Street Lantern says to the passer-by how well digital can offer an alternate view of an otherwise dull situation.

Tim Kotiakos, Judge, National AGDA Awards

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