The artwork consists of a 70’ transmission pole with 13 stainless steel bands, each with a ring of LED lighting. The pole plays both a metaphorical and literal role. During the day, the stainless bands, which are spaced incrementally wider as the pole rises, seamlessly reinforce the industrial character of the site while celebrating the elegant delivery of electricity. At night, the LED rings dynamically illustrate the sequence of the Kelvin scale that expresses the color temperature of light, with red at the bottom, moving through orange, yellow, warm and cool white to blue at the top.
Commissioning an artist was a new experience for PSE. They were receptive to an innovative approach and wanted the work to respond to the substation’s mission of the delivering energy, reliably and elegantly. As a consequence, we drew from the industrial elements of the site and the electrical system for design inspiration. During the day, the blue pole with the stainless steel bands reads like a high tech piece of equipment with the bands, spaced incrementally wider, suggesting movement. At night, the LED “neon” bands are variably programmed. Passersby are likely to see it appear differently whenever they encounter it.
We worked with the pole engineer to create a seamless interface between the pole and the stainless bands to insure a perfect fit. The lighting was custom-made for this specific project. We developed the lighting scheme and worked collaboratively with a dmx programmer to achieve the final result.
Puget Sound Energy wished to build a new substation in an area primed for development in Redmond, WA, the home of Microsoft. The City required that the substation submit to the design review board and PSE came to us for help. We proposed to transform the transmission pole from an eyesore to a landmark. We used the pole as the focal point and created a dynamic visual display both day and night. Ultimately, integration of the art was a requirement of their permit process and led to the success of the project.
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CODA: Collaboration of Design + Art
The global online community that celebrates design projects featuring commissioned artworks.
[ manifesto ]
Art matters. Attention to the details of our environment leads to love of place, which brings us to take responsibility for the spaces where we live and work. And by extension, the people with whom we live and work. And by extension, to our local communities, our cities, our nations, and our world.
We champion the role of artists in our society. We need artists to provide us with inspiration, creativity, and imagination, and to help us envision a better world.
Architects and designers know that remarkable design can change everything. They connect the dots across disciplines, collaborating with artists to make the world a more beautiful place. They are the ultimate patrons of the arts.
In the process, design professionals promote imagination and creativity, and through their commissions, make original art integral to and accessible in people's lives.
Art in our public and private spaces helps us fight ordinary buildings, ordinary streets, ordinary cities. We celebrate the extraordinary.
The architecture of our buildings and the design of our interiors affect our happiness and well-being. Each of us deserves a daily dose of inspiration.