Norsk Skogmuseum


Permanent exhibition

The exhibition "The fantastic tree" tells about how the tree is created, and how photosynthesis is the basis of all life. The leaves are the world's best solar collectors, and we explain how photosynthesis takes place in the leaf. The trees' magical ability to transform air into sugar is explained in a new and exciting way.

- Norsk skogmuseum


Client: Norsk skogmuseum

Year: 2016

Site: Elverum, Norway

The fantastic tree is one of the Norwegian Forest Museum's most spectacular exhibitions about photosynthesis and the tree's life, death and history. Through lighting effects, we recreate photosynthesis. Understanding photosynthesis is the very basis for understanding both carbon sequestration, the carbon cycle, and next in line the role of the forest in a climate context.

A nine meter long luminous acrylic wall shows the magnified cross-section of a leaf. To learn about photosynthesis, you can walk up a staircase inside the leaf. Different processes in the leaf are highlighted by LEDs that isolate them as you move along. We worked closely with biologists to achieve a good representation of the leaves inner workings

In the middle of the exhibition stands the Fantastic Tree itself, a 7.5 meters high sculpture made from 10 km of aluminum tubes. North American artist Kevin Iris wrapped the steel skeleton of the tree with aluminum to create a beautiful and organic representation of a full size tree. Each tube is fitted with fiber optics to illuminate a total of 740 flowers and leaves. Color changes through the four seasons, and the flow of water and nutrients through the tree is animated.

Pivot industridesign is lead exhibition designer for The Fantastic Tree. In addition to developing some of the main features, such as the magnified leaf cross-section, we made the architectural design of the room. Including a staircase through the leaf and mezzanine with an amphitheater for dissemination. A parametric model with “growth parameters” was developed using Rhino and Grasshopper to mimic the natural structure of trees. This digital model was converted to a steel structure as a base for fitting electronics and the aluminum cladding.