At the 61st and Peña Light Rail Station in Denver, Colorado, a 27'-tall piece of art called Luminous Wind stands with significance. Designers, Laura Haddad and Thomas Drugan, drew their inspiration from the locations innovation, energy, transportation and phenomena of its natural environment.
It was built using 952 ACRYLITE® prismatic clear acrylic rods. These rods reflect and refract sunlight during the day and being .787” in diameter, they are flexible enough to quiver and move as the wind blows. Like true artists, the designers were feeding off of their inspiration from the grasses of the windswept Plains landscape.
The rods are also illuminated by an individually programmable color-changing LED node. This allows for different light colors to be displayed at nighttime. Every night, a new set of colors will be displayed and even holidays will be marked with their own color scheme. Laura Haddad was very pleased with how the rods illuminate light; "I would say that they look as spectacular in the sunlight as they do with the LEDs."
Bringing in the inspiration of technology, the speed of the light change is adjusted by a wind sensor. When the wind speeds up, the sensor will detect it and increase the speed of the lights. Onlookers will be able to visually detect wind patterns just by looking at the sculpture.
The artwork was commissioned by the City and County of Denver, with partial funding from Fulenwider, developer of Peña Station NEXT. It was engineered by Yetiweurks, and installed by re:engineering. The lighting equipment and programming was done by RGB Lights with installation by Sturgeon Electric Company.
If you'd like to learn more about this project, check out Laura Haddad and Thomas Drugan on Instagram at haddad_drugan.
Location: Denver, Colorado