Digital reality takes over Sibling's headquarter design for Squint/Opera

In the design industry’s continual quest for innovation, it’s reassuring to know that some principles still hold fast. That perennial favourite ‘form follows function’ is alive and well in Melbourne, where Sibling channelled it for the Australian headquarters of film and animation studio Squint/Opera. Inspired by the grids that make up digital 3D renderings, Sibling’s design blurs the line between digital and physical reality.

In a
Tron-like transformation, the wireframe space housing the company’s modelling software becomes, in translation, a steel grid mesh that meanders, clads, partitions and serves as infrastructure for an office whose workspaces nestle neatly into the matrix. If an employee wonders whether she’s taken the red or the blue pill to get where she wants to go, a liberal scattering of creeper plants in and among the metal mesh offers reassurance that this is still the real world.

The inevitable confusion is entirely deliberate, as Sibling wishes to engender a higher state of consciousness: ‘Slippages and glitches between physical and digital worlds may offer
new worlds to human perception. It is this point of intersection between representation and reality where meaning for the user is made.’ Things get decidedly trippy in the presentation room, where an LED hydroponic system emits an eerie magenta light. Traditionalists will be pleased to learn that functionality lies at the forefront of the surreal environment, as magenta is an ideal colour for promoting plant growth.

Photos Christine Francis

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Sibling's work appears in , released in December 2015. For more information about this book and to order your copy, head over to the .

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