A pedestrian bridge adjacent to New York's High Line is home to a compelling new light sculpture. Prismatic_NYC by Hyphen-Labs in collaboration with Interior Architects comprises rotating prisms of LEDs that move and change based on the weather.
Interior Architects initially had a vision of creating a kinetic installation that could help to connect the interior of a pedestrian bridge to the outside environment.
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"Being on a bridge over a major New York City Avenue is a rare opportunity and the installation helps to really celebrate that moment," the company told us. "Hundreds of people will walk under it every day."
Inspired by Trivision billboards, where prismatic columns rotate to show different advertisements, the installation comprises 66 rotating prisms attached horizontally to the ceiling and turned by brushless motors. Each prism contains a number of LED lights, with over 40,000 used overall.
The installation pulls in data from publicly available sources across the web, including weather information. This data is then used to inform the movements and color changes of the prisms and LEDs. Inputs include temperature, wind, precipitation, ozone information, seasons and holidays, sunrises and sunsets, tidal movements and lunar and celestial events.
Hyphen says that the ways in which the data affects the installation are quite abstract, but, to give a clearer idea, explains that cloud cover, wind speed, humidity and accumulation or intensity of precipitation, affect the amplitude, frequency, speed, and position of the sculpture. The simplest example is the use of wind speed to determine the speed with which the prisms rotate.
The creative and design process for the Prismatic_NYC installation is said to have started almost a year ago. It will be in place for the next 5 years.
The video below provides a look at the Prismatic_NYC project.