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Wilmington Waves

This permanent artwork conceptualized with I was part of the design partnership of Didier Hess is for the Wilmington Waterfront Development as part of their Buffer Park project.  This piece will illuminate the pedestrian bridges that run along the buffer zone. The concept for this project was propelled by our interest to bring the ocean nearer to Wilmington; envelop visitors to the park with the sensation of being in or on the water. Therefore the scale and motion of the lighting encourages a more intimate engaging experience. It is also meant to imitate the rare effect seen in the ocean at night when phosphorescent plankton illuminate the waves. By activating hidden sensors located along the bridge, pedestrians and cyclists will trigger waves of LED lights in response to their speed and direction of travel meant to mimic the waves of the ocean. When no visitors are on the bridges, the system shall be designed to fire off a wave every 5-15 minutes, or perhaps will synchronize to tidal information. The illuminated assemblies containing the rope of programmable LEDs concealed within multi-layered sculptural stainless steel diffuser also called a “wavelet” will be secured to rods attached directly to the base of the bridge and held in tension with cables, allowing them to be strong but also quiver and sway with the wind. The illuminated LED wavelets are at the scale of gentle surf. As one passes over a bridge, the experience is one of an enhanced effect on their environment. Their rippling forms will help intermediate the scales the surroundings; the massive proportions of industrial infrastructure surrounding the park and even the park itself will no longer overwhelm the human experience. Colors for our lighting scheme are sampled from the surroundings to create a reflection of the entire spectrum of the environment in all of its perceptual qualities, much like water reflects the twinkling lights of a harbor.