Hero Cover Image for Synergy - Vivid Sydney 2018 page

Project Illuminate

Synergy - Vivid Sydney 2018

Jessie Street Garden, Circular Quay, Sydney

25 May 2018 - 16 June 2018

Written by Junji Moey on 14 June 2018

Synergy is our fifth year of invovlement with the Vivid Sydney festival. This project also marks our first collaboration with MAKE CLUB (est. 2016), CREATE’s sister club from university’s Art & Design campus. In addition, the existing Vivid Team within CREATE has been officially branded Project Illuminate. This has been done to mark the welcome introduction of skilled designers into our team, our long-term commitment to the Vivid Sydney program, and this team’s unique specialisation in interactive artworks.

Synergy presents a pretty tableau from nature - a large plywood tree surrounded by ferns. This deceptively simple scene however, represents the interlinked mechanisms of a superorganism. In these complex beings, inconspicuous organisms demonstrate emergent properties by sharing signals and nutrients for the greater good of the collective. In Synergy, this survival mechanism is demonstrated by the illumination of the ferns which are triggered by the passage of visitors along the path.

The Project Illuminate Team for 2018 is led by Jonathan Hribar, with project management and support from Junji Moey and MAKE CLUB President Tsz Kin William Liu. The team consists upwards of 40 people who participate in artistic design, engineering design, operations, marketing, construction and maintenance.

For aspiring engineers and designers, this project provides provision of practical skills in project management, design and fabrication skills, client relations, collaboration and communication. It represents an experience-rich opportunity for the maker community to sink their teeth into and supplement their university studies. Synergy also marks CREATE’s most ambitious project to date, a feat which would not have been possible without the combination of all the member’s skills and experiences.

Image: Tsz Kin LIU (William)

Image: Gary Compton Photography, commissioned for the UNSW Faculty of Engineering

Meet the team


Jonathan Hribar - 4th year Mechatronic / Biomedical Engineering

Junji Moey - 3rd year Mechatronic Engineering and Computer Science

Computational design

Christopher Ho - 4th year Civil Engineering/Architecture

Concept design

Christie Wong - Master of Arts

Jane Fan - 5th year Computer Science/Media Arts (Hons)

Structural engineering

Jeremy Low - 4th year Mechanical Engineering

Emily Chan - 4th year Mechanical Engineering

Electrical engineering

Yuen Chan - 4th year Mechatronic Engineering/Mathematics

Andy Zheng - 4th year Electrical Engineering/Commerce

Mahima Mandal - 3rd year Electrical Engineering

Daniel Li - 4th year Electrical Engineering/Computer Science

Daniel Wong – 2nd year Aerospace Engineering

David Xue – 4th year Electrical Engineering

Aly Virani - 3rd year Mechatronic Engineering


Jason Chu - 2nd year Software Engineering

Kevin Yu - 3rd year Electrical Engineering/Computer Science

Shiyuan Liang - 3rd year Software Engineering

Nevin Suriyaa - 2nd year Computer Science


Anthony Feizi-Sobbi - 4th year Mechatronic Engineering

Austin Kong – PhD candidate, Mechanical Engineering


Tsz Kin (William) Liu - 4th year Media Arts (Hons)

Dylan Goh - 2nd year Commerce/Design (Hons)


Our heartfelt thanks go out to the following individuals or organisations for their hard work, without which our project would not have been possible.

Destination NSW, AGB Events, Event Engineering, UNSW Engineering, UNSW Built Environment, UNSW Faculty of Art & Design, UNSW Michael Crouch Innovation Centre, Arc @UNSW

This project has been supported by Arc @ UNSW Ltd under their 2018 Student Community & Development Grants scheme

Our volunteers


Matthew Pisto, Leo Chan, Ken Ba Vi Le, Alexander Lam, Louis Wong, Deborah Lui, James Williams, Stanley Ching, Lakshan Jayakody, Yi Jun Tai, Belinda Zhang, William Zhan, May Xuan Chew, Subrina Rahman, Daniel Shung Kit Wong, James Yosua Yo, Whitney Xu, Jason Minh Phu, David Xue, Michael Wu, Rosanna Lee, William Weng, Linda Truong

MAKE CLUB / UNSW Art & Design

Ghadeer Al-badri, Danae-Irene Kyriakaki, Doreen Zheng, Aris Ioannou-Marsh, Konnor Kwan, Toshi, Zhouquan (William) Pang

We thank the partners for their support!

Arc UNSW Logo UNSW Engineering Logo MCIC Logo