The Space Needle announced today the winning design that will replace the existing Galaxy Gold (which I love and is awesome)…and it’s trees.
Two problems here. One, I think the design is just wrong for the top of the Space Needle. The only time any of us will see this is from the side and quite a distance, so an intricate design intended to be viewed from above doesn’t make sense. Plus, this part of Needle has a dramatic hourglass shape when seen from the side…so it seems like we’re going to end up with some mighty squatty trees.
Bigger problem, though, is what an uninspired ripoff this design is. Just compare it to the Matthew Knight Arena court at the University of Oregon.
Nicole Commins, who designed “Trees” for the Space Needle, said her inspiration was “standing in the middle of one of Washington’s state parks, looking up to the tree tops.” The Ducks, meanwhile, described their arena floor as “framed by a representation of a view from beneath a forest of fir trees.” I’m having a hard time making a distinction between those two concepts—the only difference I see is a more polished execution on the court version.
Ultimately, though, this is just one Seattlite’s opinion. (Obviously other Seattlites had their say, too, or we wouldn’t be in this situation.) We’ll see how it plays out—and anyway, the Needle will be back to boring old white six months from now.
UPDATE: People have been pointing out another issue on the Space Needle Facebook page. Did Commins use clip art or stock brushes to create her design? I can’t tell, but if so, that might be a violation of the contest rules, which state the designs “must be original works and not include or consist of … works owned or controlled by others.”