janet echelman: dilworth plaza project rendering of the dilworth plaza installation project by janet echelman





dry mist and colourful lights create an ‘x-ray of the city’s circulatory system’ in the installation designed by american artist  janet echelman for the upcoming renovation of dilworth plaza in philadelphia. construction begins this summer on the renovation,  which focuses on sustainability and increases in open and green space, and is expected to be completed in 2013. the installation makes use of a specially designed ‘dry mist’, composed of atomized water particles and compressed air. expelled to a height of five feet, the mist is visible, and can be shaped by the wind and by visitor interaction, but the water particles are so fine that it does not make things wet. the sculpture follows the path of the city’s three metro lines that run below the pavement, with the mist ‘drawing’ in realtime the passage of the trains. at the sculpture’s base, a ‘water mirror’ reflects the historic architecture of the square together with the mist, which at night comes illuminated by three different light sources. most known for the coloured mesh volumetrics she has installed in cities across the world, echelman’s work seeks to reveal and interact with environmental forces, such as the wind. for dilworth plaza, her focus expands to include the history of the square, which was home to the first publicly funded water works fountain in america and also once the site of the pennsylvania railroad. drawing on the materials of water, steam, and light, echelman designed a piece that would tell the industrial story of the plaza as well as reveal the inner workings of the city, without competing with the ‘beautiful historic architecture’ that surrounds the square.

aerial view video rendering of the installation



eye-level video rendering of the installation



artist janet echelman discusses her design process and shows sketches and prototypes for the project (beginning at 1:37)



janet echelman: dilworth plaza project photograph of testing of lit dry mist



janet echelman: dilworth plaza project additional testing of the prototype



video of dry mist testing and mockups



janet echelman: dilworth plaza project

infiniti digital art competition currently, designboom in collaboration with INFINITI is offering an international competition  asking participants to design spectacular or interactive digital artworks,to be installed and displayed throughout europe. participation is open to applicants from every country in the world: to professionals, students, vjs, and design-enthusiasts.


registration is free and now open, through july 8th, 2011. for more information about the competition and how to register, click here.