Bayou Beacon

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Client

Location: Houston, TX, United States

Completion date: 2021

Artwork budget: $20,000

Project Team

Assistant Designer

Fuko Nara

Falon Land Studio

Consulted on projection mapping, theater lighting components, and projection screen fabrication

Clint Allen

New Aspect Design

Independent Creative Technologist

Matt Felson

Creative Director at Sawyer Yards

Grace Zuninga

Provided installation and de-installation assistance for custom built components

Sara Van Buskirk and Jacob Spacek

Provided projectors and lighting components

4Wall

Overview

The Bayou Beacon is an environmental light sculpture that expresses water fluctuations of White Oak Bayou. This project uses water quality monitoring data to express water level and flow in a para-metrically designed light sculpture installed in the train shed at Sawyer Yards.

Houston’s bayous shape the city. The bayous fluctuate with varying levels of rainfall, but that action of moving and flowing stormwater is always happening in the background.

Goals

The design goals for the Bayou Beacon were to create an approachable experience of historic bayou flood data for the public. Additionally, the work took advantage of an unusual post-industrial setting and transformed the former train shed into a unique immersive art experience.

Process

Many collaborators contributed to bringing this work to fruition. Fuko Nara, Assistant Designer at Falon Land Studio, led the creative coding and technology components as well as created the animation and hand-built the scaled model prototypes for previous iterations of the installation. Clint Allen, of New Aspect Design, consulted on the projection mapping, theater lighting components, and projection screen fabrication. Matt Felsen, independent creative technologist in Brooklyn, provided early technology consultation for the data expression design. Grace Zuninga, Creative Director at Sawyer Yards, provided the space to us and supported the marketing efforts for the event. Sara Van Buskirk and Jacob Spacek provided installation and de-installation assistance for custom built components. Projectors and lighting components provided by 4Wall.

Additional Information

Partners: Project space provided by Sawyer Yards Arts Campus and supported in part by the Houston Arts Alliance and the Houston Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs.