Air/Traffic/Control - CODAworx


Client: Nashville (BNA) National Airport

Location: Nashville, TN, United States

Completion date: 2018

Artwork budget: $320,000

Project Team


Ivan Toth Depeña

Industry Resource



Industry Resource




In December 2018, “Air/Traffic/Control,”designed by Ivan Toth Depeña, was installed in each of the 6 elevator lobbies at the Nashville International Airport’s new Ground Transportation Center and Terminal Parking Garage in Nashville, TN. The BNA project was inspired by the complexity and mechanisms of the traveler’s journey. Taking inspiration from flight patterns/data, cartography, movement and sound wave forms, Depeña created an original artwork using light and glass to transform the typical column into a dynamic, responsive and interactive experience for the airport traveler.


The project's goals were utilize the general flow of the commuters, and the movement within the elevator lobbies to activate the art. In this case, the LED components produce a visual response and act as a cognitive representation of the movement - circulation. The physical form of the column appears to transform the color and energy of the motion as the viewer walks and interacts with the piece, creating an ever-evolving public art installation. Utilizing the visible, vertical surfaces of the columns in the elevator lobby vestibules the project creates an animated experience of light and color, as the commuters perceive the installation in physical motion. The proposal is designed to work while in active (engaged) and passive (not engaged) modes. The lighting activity is also tied to the flight information available throughout the airport’s active timeline. The busier the airport is with incoming and outgoing flights, the more active the lighting in the column becomes. The installation is meant to be experienced from various viewpoints rendering different observations depending on distance. The art consists of vertical glass and light elements that tie the entire building together while each floor retains a unique color identity to assist in way finding.


There are several added layers of media that compose the entire installation including sound and augmented reality. Depeña explored the use of sensors at the site, as a direct input, to affect the lighting, trigger sound compositions and enhance the visitor experience of the entire installation. The audio was composed by local musicians “Tape Deck Mountain” that collaborated directly with the artist throughout the process. Each floor’s sonic composition is mixed live and at random and is intended to be different on each floor. Finally, a custom app is being developed to overlay a layer of Augmented Reality to the project. The content that is visible only using a mobile app, consists of flight data, musician themed video and abstracted visuals that add complexity and visual interest to the columns and in turn the installation as a whole. The process came together seamlessly with the hard work implemented between the airport, the design team, contractors, project manager's and collaborators.

Additional Information

Each level is tied together visibly using a vibrant and intricately abstracted art work that is laminated within the colored glass. The compositions are generated specifically from flight paths and translated sound waves. This activity engages the entire building from both the exterior and interior perspectives as pulsing light lines penetrate the architecture and weave themselves in and out of each floor, from the top of the building to the bottom.