River Lights - CODAworx

River Lights

Submitted by Rob Shakespeare

Client: Downtown South Bend Inc.

Location: South Bend, IN, United States

Completion date: 2015

Artwork budget: $750,000

Project Team


Rob Shakespeare

Shakespeare Lighting Design

Industry Resource

Sean Smallman

LuxCanor Productions

Industry Resource

Mike Brubaker

Associated Controls + Design

Industry Resource

Tim Moran

James Thomas Engineering

Industry Resource

Corey Noland


Landscape Architect

Chris Chockley

Jones Petrie Rafinski

Industry Resource

Richard Chapman

Lawson-Fisher Engineering Associates


Interactive light sculptures

TRIO: 22’, 27’, 33’ internally LED illuminated brushed aluminum interactive truss sculptures.
FOREST: 17’, 21’, 24’, 27’, 31’ powder coated internally LED illuminated interactive truss sculptures on steel trunks.
CRESCENT: 45’ horizontal arc aluminum sculpture on 3 x 18’ steel legs with LED spotlights. Dynamic illumination of 250’
CASCADES white water. 500’
JEFFERSON BRIDGE façade and under arch dynamic lighting.
plus lighting for diSuvero’s KEEPERS OF THE FIRE kinetic sculpture.


This section of the St. Joseph River is beautiful and really enjoyed during the day, but was dark and uninviting, even scary, as dusk fell. The goal of this project was to activate the area at night, link the different demographics of the east and west banks, and to create a fun and interactive destination. Prior, the area was dark and dangerous at night. Creating an engaging outdoor destination in the downtown was part of a master plan to revitalize the economy.


Rob Shakespeare worked with Downtown South Bend Inc. Executive Director Aaron Perri for three years to realize this project, another layer of revitalization for the City. He worked closely with engineers, construction managers, a landscape architect and community volunteers to plan and execute River Lights. His team included a master control system programmer, Sean Smallman.

Additional Information

River Lights opened on the 150th Birthday of South Bend and is commemorative of the event. Funding was primarily from local businesses, individuals, and some City grants.