Dynamic Performance of Nature is a permanent architectural media installation in the Leonardo Museum of Art, Science and Technology, located in Salt Lake City, Utah. DPoN engenders environmental perception in the museum’s visitors by communicating global environmental information through a dynamic and interactive interface embedded in the material of the wall. It’s conceived upon the notion that sustainability for the 21st century should be crafted to evolve beyond conventional application of green techniques into something alive and integrated with the environment, conditioning the most sophisticated forms of creativity for the preservation of life. DPoN will invite curious inquisition as well as detached contemplation of the synthesis between light, material, space, and global environmental information in hopes that visitors can perceive an architecture that is alive, pulsing with live information, communicating something in its own language which is indelibly linked to the material, geometry, and form of the wall itself.
With DPoN we’ve injected static materials with live information to create a flowing picture of the world. Environmental sensors capture data from sources throughout the planet and feed that data to solar-powered LEDs embedded in the sine-wave form made of recycled plastic. As the sensors register changes in temperature, wind, seismicity, and other factors, the LEDs reflect these fluctuations with continuous spectral waves that represent minute shifts in the data feed from moment to moment. At 92 feet long and over 14 feet high, DPoN covers 1300 sqft of vertical exhibition space traversing the museum’s ground floor lobby and acting as a programmatic threshold between exhibit spaces. It’s composed of 176 unique recycled HDPE fins embedded with 1,888 full-color RGB LED’s and held together by approximately 8000 individual set screws. We estimate the amount of plastic this project diverted from a landfill to be around three tons.
The color spectrum seen flowing through the wall reflects temperatures in the weather feed; the speed of color flow across the piece shows actual wind speed; the direction of color flow indicates the direction of the wind with cardinal directions oriented to the sides of the wall. When an earthquake registers with the USGS, a distorted world map on the wall displays the earthquake's location — the brighter the color and more frequent the lights flash, the stronger the quake.
Visitors can interact with DPoN using Twitter to send messages to @LeoArtwall that either change the global weather feed or simply paint a wash of colors that dance and chase across the wall. Not only limited to weather and color, we imagine DPoN growing and evolving over time, acting as site for continued creative experimentation by designers in the visualization of information through material and architecture
Data visualization designer : Noa Younse
Consulting engineer : Kyle Twitchell, Telyk Works
Lighting consultant : Ben Watson, Solus Inc.
Installation team : Haley Blanco, Thomas Candee, Shaun Salisbury, Florence Schmitt, Hayes Shair, Danny Thai
Photography courtesy of EB Office, The Leonardo, Peter Katz, and Noa Younse