prismatic_NYC light installation adapts to surroundings to generate calming waveforms
prismatic_NYC light installation adapts to surroundings to generate calming waveforms prismatic_NYC light installation adapts to surroundings to generate calming waveforms
feb 01, 2016

prismatic_NYC light installation adapts to surroundings to generate calming waveforms

prismatic light installation adapts to surroundings to generate calming waveforms
all images courtesy of  hyphen labs




‘prismatic_NYC’ is a luminous-kinetic sculpture that is 70 feet long and 10 fee wide,  suspended on the ceiling of a walkway that stretches over the high line park, in lower manhattan. it is made of 66 counter-rotated triangular prisms; each are comprised of an aluminum-side, a flat-black side, and a luminescent-side. the prisms rotate freely and change color independently. when combined, using ‘prismatic_NYC’s’ counter-rotated design, it creates a glowing waveform that gracefully, and silently dances overhead.

video courtesy of hyphen labs




interior architects approached the project with an initial idea – to build an installation that would be similar to a classic trivision billboard, which consist of triangular prisms simultaneously rotating 120 degrees to display a new message at each rotation. the collaborated team tweak the idea by tapering each prism and alternating their orientation. this strategy would give them control of the visual apex that was met between each pair. each prism has a base diameter of 12 inches at the edges and tapers to six inches toward the center across a ten foot span.

hyphen-labs-prismtaic_NYC-interior-architects-NYC-designboom-02the ‘prismatic_NYC’ is located above the ‘high line’ in NYC




tennesse based company RMI, developed and fabricated a working mechanical system and dan moore programmed ‘prismatic’ to start rolling when specific positions associated with a moving waveform are sent to each motor. the result is the animated wave of light concurrently achieving later translations of the 2D curve which flows volumetrically through the space.

hyphen-labs-prismtaic_NYC-interior-architects-NYC-designboom-03the installation during the day




a long pedestrian bridge located high across a new york city street connects the tech company’s headquarters to their new office building above the chelsea market. the ‘prismatic’ sculpture cycles through space from its installation on the ceiling of the bridge. the sculpture is data-driven, it collects information on real-time weather, moon-phases, the hudson tide, and more; and the data directly affects the amplitude, speed, position, and color of each prism. the piece is privately owned, but can be seen publicly, on the high line, from little W 12th street, up to 20th street.

hyphen-labs-prismtaic_NYC-interior-architects-NYC-designboom-04the connected bridge at night hyphen-labs-prismtaic_NYC-interior-architects-NYC-designboom-06the installation is made of 66 individual prisms hyphen-labs-prismtaic_NYC-interior-architects-NYC-designboom-07the whole system uses over 40,000 integrated LEDshyphen-labs-prismtaic_NYC-interior-architects-NYC-designboom-08each rotates 120 degrees hyphen-labs-prismtaic_NYC-interior-architects-NYC-designboom-09each prism is connected to a motor for rotation hyphen-labs-prismtaic_NYC-interior-architects-NYC-designboom-11the system being programmed



directed by: Bill Galusha  
concept design: IA Interior Architects 
technical director: Dan Moore  
creative technologists & experience design: Hyphen-Labs 
fabrication: RMI
lighting design consultant: Lightswitch

    have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.
    all comments are reviewed for the purposes of moderation before publishing.

    comments policy
    LOG IN
    designboom's comment policy guidelines
    generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
    the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

    what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
    let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

    - please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
    - please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
    - please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
    - please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
    - please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
    (there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
    in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
    the best 100-200 entries too.)

    a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.


    a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

    technology news

    keep up with our daily and weekly stories
    489,205 subscribers
    - see sample
    - see sample