Photomontage © 2017  CHOI+SHINE



2018 Commonwealth Games, Festival 2018

Gold Coast, Australia


The Urchins in Australia are a newly commissioned super-scaled crochet artwork with crochet patterns made for the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games, Festival 2018.  The  cultural and natural elements found in Queensland were incorporated into the lace patterns designed by Jin Choi, highlighting the heritage and outstanding natural beauty of the area.  From the areas’ ubiquitous Flying Foxes and indigenous Lace Monitor Lizards to the black and white Nerite Sea Shells in Bargara, the new motifs attempt to combine these unique natural elements with visual symbols from the Commonwealth.

The motifs and patterns created by Choi+Shine are hand crocheted by local community residents of Gold Coast and Queensland  and assembled  in Gold Coast with local volunteers.


Jin Choi and Thomas Shine


Swell Sculpture

Special Thanks to 

The City of Gold Coast

Kate Fell, Creative Director, Festival 2018

Julianne Pierce, Producer,  Festival 2018 

Natasha Edwards and Ruth Della , Swell Sculpture


The Urchins, with their diaphanous lace form and alluring formation, celebrate the the spirit of the city during this exciting time.

Intricately made from hand crochet lace, Choi+Shine  presents The Urchins to embody the beauty of nature in Queensland and the power of collective human endeavor.

The project is designed as a community artwork, engaging local volunteers to crochet according to the same patterns.  Choi+Shine set up a web page where all participants share their progress, questions and solutions.  The completed crochet motifs were collected and assembled in Gold Coast together with local volunteers to encourage participation from volunteers without crochet skills.  Through community engagement, the making of the artwork became as meaningful and significant as the final artwork.  

The Urchins interact with natural light during the day, and glow when illuminated at night.   With penetrating low sun at dusk, the lace appears to be glowing while the long, while elongated shadows are ever changing with the wind.  The kinetic nature of the Urchins allows for flowing and rhythmic movement throughout the day reminiscent of the endless waves of the ocean. The lace filters the beautiful sunset at Appel park while the dappled light from the water surface reflects onto the glistening lace.

At night, the mysteriously hovering and glowing large Urchins create a sense of magic as if time has stopped.  When viewers enter into the Urchins, they are surrounded by a single layer of glowing lacy surface, where they can enjoy the detail and texture of the Urchins and see the city, water and the sky through this visual filter.  When other viewers see the occupants in the Urchins, the occupants glow within the lacy room, creating an illusion of the ethereal levitation of the occupants, while the occupants become a part of the art work.


The Urchin are made of a hand crochet fabric shell held in tension over a metal frame that is suspended from Dyneema cables.  The cables fasten to steel trusses hold the Urchins in place.  Because the structure is light weight, the suspending cables are thin, and barely visible during the day.

The crochet fabric shell is constructed of 3mm white double braided polyester cord, illuminated by multiple white spot lights, creating the illusion of an evenly glowing structure.  Each Urchin’s membrane uses about 17.000 meters of polyester cord, with each Urchin weighing about 110kg. 

The Urchins were designed for simple installation, and are composed of 20 segmented panels, which are joined to a series of metal ribs at ground level at the site, and later fastened to a top and bottom ring once suspended.  Once assembled, the Urchins are hoisted to the final display height and secured in place.

Each Urchins is 5 meters wide and 3.3 meters tall and is made from 17,000m of white polyester rope.

If you would like to participate

in our future crochet projects,

please send us an email to:

 skim [at]



The design and images of The Urchins  are copyright 2017, Choi+Shine Architects and may not be used without written permission. 

“The Urchins”  is a trademark of Choi+Shine Architects.

The images and design  copyright 2016 - 2024   Choi+Shine Architects, LLC.  All rights reserved. 

The designs, artworks and images on this page are subject to copyright, patent and/or trademark protection.

Contact:  Choi+Shine Architects for written permission for image use.

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