Designing a park installation for a rainy city

2020-10-09 9:46 PM

A while back I heard about a competition happening in Vancouver where people design park installations with a focus on both a rainy climate and those with social anxiety.

I thought this would be really fun as I'm originall from Vancouver and very much enjoy the rain. I love being able to go to a secluded area outdoors when it's raining and reading while listening to the rain on various surfaces. During the times I've lived outside of Canada I have memories of homesickness being cured by a rainstorm.

The project tooling consisted of :

  • SideFX Houdini (modeling)
  • Krita (texturing and graphic design)
  • Unreal engine (rendering, lighting, camera rig etc)

Here is ortho shot


Here is one of the perspective shots


To create this project I decided to take this opportunity to learn SideFX Houdini. I bought a 1 year license and started to get to work learning. The main DCC programs I've used in the past 15 years have mainly been Maya, 3dsmax and a little bit of XSI. The autodesk DCC products are servicable but I'm by no means loyal to them and was interested in going a non-autodesk route for my return to 3d modeling.

It just so happens at the time I entered this contest I worked at a company where I had a co-worker from the VFX field who absolutely loves Houdini. After a few months of hearing about its features I was finally convinced to take a dive and give it a try. I'm glad I did, not only is Houdini a fraction of the price of a Autodesk product, it's so much nicer to use once you get used to it. Especially if you have a programming and procedural generation background.


Finally here is the piece I wrote for the contest entry :

Sound Shelter is a modular mobile shelter with 3 key design goals

Maximize the sound of falling water

Some have can be soothed by the sound of falling water. This project explores a design built to exploit the sound of falling water.

The roof, central water collector and the 4 water collectors are intended to maximize the sound of falling water.

The roof in particular is intended to collect water and evenly distribute it around the center to create a rain wall waterfall. The water lands in the center of the structure and falls evenly into the center left and right planters.

Collect rain to be used for potted plants

The water collectors are intended to have slow release water spouts so that they can provide water to potted plants over time when there is no rainfall. The center two water collectors dispense water to the outer water collectors when the start to get full.

Modular and easy to assemble

The strucuture has been designed to break down into a series of flat panels which lock into each other.

The roof is intended to separate into 7 triangular parts. The floor is broken into 6 separate panels which also lock into each other. There are 12 identical support columns. The planters consist of 2 legs and a single planter section. Unfortunately due to time constraints I haven't been able to provide illustrations of the modular nature intended for this piece.


Tags: park_installation