Client: City of Atlanta
Location: Atlanta, GA, United States
Completion date: 2020
Shane Allbritton and Norman Lee
Design Optimization / Project Management
For this project, we took our inspiration from the iconic image of civil rights leaders crossing arms across their bodies and holding hands to show solidarity between people of all races and backgrounds. The artistic composition of folded arms and hands is created by a parametically generated waterjet pattern that evokes the close-up configuration of woven fabric, and also the grid-like pattern of the streets of Atlanta.
Weaving is a powerful metaphor for “crossover” in how we interact and learn from others. The over and under aspect of a woven fabric reinforces the notion of complementary, diverse elements. One thread provides support from one angle, which is further supported in the other direction by another. The tighter the weave, the stronger – strength through diversity, celebrating Atlanta’s rich cultural heritage and human rights legacy. Seen up close by pedestrians, the folded arms and hands are revealed to be created by a weaving pattern. This becomes a metaphor for a community urban fabric that is connected from an urban scale by the historic streets of Atlanta, but also on a personal scale with individuals coming together, hand-in-hand, in the struggle for Civil Rights.
Lighting is major element of the design. Linear LED fixtures align along the bottom edge of the perforated fence dramatically backlighting the artwork surface at night. The lighting program slowly changes colors in a shifting gradient, evoking the subtle gradations color that is created by hand dyeing strands of fiber in an ombre technique.