Streamline Light Installation

A dynamic light visualization of Pittsburgh’s three iconic rivers proposed to be installed at the Pittsburgh International Airport.

The installation draws comparisons between the multi-directional movement of people within the atrium to the converging flow of Pittsburgh's three iconic rivers. Upon entering the space, visitors can look up to a calming light animation that moves with them as they pass through. The gentle, dynamic nature of flowing water calms and levels the differing speeds of individual movement. For visitors to Pittsburgh, it will act as an introduction to a city’s nature or a beautiful reminder when leaving.
Timeframe —
Fall 2018,
2 weeks
Skills —
Physical Computing
Team —
Selena Zhen,
Shan Wang,
Hanyuan Zhang
Final Render
Final render of installation in central atrium of Pittsburgh International Airport

Because the central atrium is located past the airport's security checkpoint, I storyboarded to recall memories and feelings of movement while enroute through the space. The central atrium is the convergence point for all visitors and workers entering, exiting and moving about the airside terminal of PIT. We drew comparisons between this movement of people to the flow of Pittsburgh's three iconic rivers.

LED Animation

We chose colors that were gentle to the eyes and harmonized with the atrium’s existing blue, white and red interior. To mimic the irregularity of a river’s flow, we added moments of color change and motion to the animation’s slow and steady pace.

TouchDesigner animation (left) and final visualization across our 50 addressable LEDs (right)
Physical Form

We designed rows of thin individual housing for every strand of addressable LED. Spaced evenly across the ceiling, the changes in their individual curvatures accumulate to a static representation of shifting waves. We found that the best location for our installation would be on the ceiling of the atrium between its two main trusses. The vertical alignment of our installation follows the orientation of the atrium’s steel decking.