Pole Forest, GALILEO (University and Research Centre)

The lighting installation »Pole Forest« enhances the entrance of the Marriott Courtyard-Hotel at GALILEO, the University and Research Centre Garching. GALILEO was developed between 2012 and 2020, as the new core of the TUM Research Campus Garching. It unites work, science and research with culture, shopping and leisure. The light concept was planned by our team. On top we were asked to design »Pole Forest«.

In thai culture one believes, that tutelary spirits live on every patch of ground. If a human owner wants to build a house, he takes the spirits home. But it is a fact that one should not displease the spirits. Therefore thai people developed a wonderful idea: small shrines or »spirit houses« are build to provide a home for the tutelary spirits of a place, in order to soothe them, which should guard and protect the people living nearby.

Long before Garching became TUM Research Centre, there was a high moor. Its diversity of flora and fauna must have been stunning. The thale cress, Arabidopsis thaliana, is a delicate and unimposing plant with little white blossoms. It used to grow in the high moor of Garching. Amazingly, the thale cress is the most important model organism in plant biology and genetics. In 2000 its complete sequenced genome was published. And exactly that, which is beyond human perception, fascinated us.

The golden shining pattern on our poles are based on the sequenced genome of thale cress. They make the invisible visible. The installation is building a bridge between the roots of Garching, the high moor, and simultaneously establishes a metaphor for the luck of the building´s visitors.

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Vincent Kühnert