Sensing Change: Weather Creates Art in Digital Installation

Posted August 20, 2019

‘Sensing Change’, a new data-driven light installation creates art using local weather data to bring energy to the terrace of 151 North Franklin Street in Chicago. On August 18th, 2019, our President and Principal Designer, Edwin Schlossberg, spoke to the Weather Channel about the digital installation.

Watch the Weather Channel Interview:


A Work of Modern Art with a Meteorological Twist

The 95-foot-long weather art installation transforms real-time weather data—including info about wind, rain, sun and clouds—into a dazzling digital display. The constantly changing animations create abstract light patterns that recall sunlight rippling through trees, rain falling, or clouds scudding across the sky. Rain brings cooler colors appear in patterns mimicking dripping water, while the sun triggers lush, warm colors with patterns that look like rays of sunshine. Cloudy weather is represented by cloud-like shapes drifting across the installation, with wind appearing as a gust of light over the animations. By pairing different colors and animations we are able to display more than 200 permutations in total.

‘Sensing Change’ is composed of 390 vertical light bars that, over time, will support the growth of ivy, adding another layer of depth as the vines wend their way through the bars in the coming years. As the vines climb the installation, the lights will reflect off their leaves, creating a unique juxtaposition of technology and nature.

This weather art installation was designed in collaboration with lighting design firm upLIGHT.

Olivia El-Sadr Davis

Olivia is a former member of ESI Design’s Marketing and Business Development Team, blogging about the latest happenings at ESI and beyond.

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