An artistic gathering enhanced with light
BOFFO is a non-profit organization that produces creative, ambitious, forward-thinking public art. In 2012, they turned to Focus Lighting in New York City to create a spectacular entry piece for the BOFFO Show House. The Show House combined a collection of innovative furniture, décor, and art by famous artists and architects to create complete environments that redefined the modern home. The four apartments within the temporary exhibition reflected specific themes — Future, Nature, Work, and Play. Focus Lighting sought to create a stunning light art piece that would welcome, introduce, and tie together the themes of this "cutting-edge experiment in living."
Focus Lighting designed "Cloud," an interactive installation that ran the length of the 35-foot long hallway of the Show House. The installation greeted guests as they walked through the main entrance and ushered them down the hallway, with a veil of ever-changing color overhead, to each of the four apartments. To create this piece, the Focus Lighting design team attached 200 tubes to 16 wooden discs that were then suspended from the ceiling. These tubes and the ceiling above were illuminated using Color Kinetics iColor Flex LMX LED strands (now specified with Flex Compact gen3, RGB). Infrared sensors, installed in each of the 16 wooden discs, detected movement beneath the installation and triggered the LED lighting to change and transition "Cloud" to one of 12 unique looks. An increase in activity intensified both the pulsating and the color of the light, giving the installation a life of its own.
"We wanted to use light to create a welcoming and memorable experience for each visitor," says principal designer, Brett Andersen. "We kept the colors and the programming quite simple, allowing us to create abstract representations of nature that tied these four very different spaces together."
"Part of the challenge was designing the logic by which 'Cloud' would function—how and when the sensors would communicate with the lighting. We then focused on timing to get everything to flow smoothly," says lighting designer, Ryan Fischer.