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at the Blacksburg Farmers Market for the AIA Blue Ridge
Blacksburg (2012)


​The interactive light and sound installation Luminous Kite Lanterns consists of 740 kites made with mulberry paper and bamboo interconnected on kite lines. 52 strings of kites will be suspended beneath 3,000 square feet of the Market timber frame pavilion to sway and rotate together in response to wind. At night, the kites will be softly lit with LED lights to create a luminous outdoor ceiling. The color of lights will shift from warm white to soft orange as people enter the space under the kites and become intense orange as the occupants’ motion increases.  Ambient sound of wood chimes will be heard as presence of people is captured by sensors, creating a multisensory space that responds to people’s presence and natural forces of the breeze.

Inspired by traditional Japanese lantern festivals and paper kites, the installation responds to natural forces and presence of people; it celebrates the ephemeral, fleeting nature of materials traditionally used in Japanese rituals and events. In integration with digital technology, Luminous Kite Lanterns brings awareness to our interconnections to nature and amongt people occupying a public space.

Aki Ishida as Design Director and Lighting Designer

Digital interaction and sound art by Ico Bukvic, Brennon Bortz, and Benjamin Knapp of Virginia Tech Institute for Creativity, Arts & Technology

Design and fabrication student team:
Carolina Cohen Freue, Justin Dennis, Jordan Keller, Kaitlin Vavoso, and Tyson Phillips

Lighting and sound student team: Taylor O'Connor and Mickey Cowden

Photography: Daniel Ayad and Logan Wallace

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