Supernova! is a conceptual design for a planetarium on Wellington’s Waterfront. Here, architecture joins forces with propaganda and targets a consumer-driven marketplace to produce an architectural experience that is dismantled in 6 months.

This Exhibition Planetarium relies heavily on its use of light and architectural form in promoting a didactic experience that lasts only while it retains public interest.

Playing within the framework of a visually-oriented ‘society of the spectacle’, the installation manipulates the tourist’s architectural experience to market ‘outer space’ to future generations. Propaganda and advertising set up the tourist’s experience of the planetarium prior to entry, and involve the tourist in a didactic cinematic route that awakens the imagination. The building’s conceptual form and life draw on the contemporary understanding of a star, and suck the tourist into a world where an exhibited ‘reality’ becomes spectacle. The success or failure of this exhibition lies with its consumers who, upon entry, provide the energy that keeps the star alive.    

The colour of the installation is based on the number of visitors that visit, and the length of the exhibition’s life. Visitors to the installation are analogous to the hydrogen fuel that keeps a star alive. The greater the number of visitors (ie: the more the fuel available to a star), the larger the metaphorical ‘star’ becomes. A light counter set up along the installation’s main entrance records the number of visitors, and controls the colour of the lighting within.


Supernova Model 1
Supernova Concept Sketch
Supernova Entry Bridge
Supernova Model 2