Hou de Sousa’s ‘Creativity Blooms’ Installation Shines at Adobe’s San Jose HQ

Whether an Ecuadorian restaurant interior or an interactive installation at the Washington Area Metropolitan Transit Authority, work by Hou de Sousa emits a polychromatic yet studied exuberance that’s rooted in site and intended to be enjoyed by as many people as possible. The New York–based studio led by husband-and-wife architects Nancy Hou and Josh de Sousa frequently arrives at its design solutions through processes that include utilizing such Adobe programs as Illustrator and Photoshop. So, when the software company invited the firm to submit a proposal for an outdoor installation at its San Jose, California, headquarters—newly expanded with an 18-story tower and a footbridge to connect it to the campus’s existing three buildings—Hou de Sousa, well versed in the client’s tools, snapped up the commission. The resulting Creativity Blooms entails 20 elements: a mix of “trees” and “roots,” benches, plus a logo, running underneath and along the bridge. The trees and benches are super-thin aluminum plates painted vibrant colors that nod to Adobe’s spectrum and the ingenuity it summons, as well as San Jose’s agricultural history. At night, they’re set aglow by embedded LED strips. “Photoshop,” de Sousa recalls, “was particularly helpful with testing out the lighting effects.” 

Creativity Blooms, a multipart installation by Hou de Sousa at the expanded San Jose, California, head­ quarters of Adobe, starts at street level, where a custom logo and eight LED strip–lit “roots” run up and underneath the footbridge that adjoins an office tower, both newly built for the software company by Gensler. Along the 250­-foot-­long bridge are Hou de Sousa’s eight “trees,” each 13 feet tall, and three benches (only two shown), all made of 1/8­ inch ­thick painted ­aluminum plates and custom stainless-­steel bolts.

read more