I worked on this project as Lead Engineer at Tellart
We partnered with Mid-Ocean Studio to create a large-scale interactive lighting sculpture for a station in the St. Louis Metro. Mid-Ocean designed and built the double helix of stainless steel that held our custom technology – thousands of wirelessly controllable multi-color light nodes. Cameras positioned above the train platform tracked the waiting passengers’ movements and wirelessly transmitted that data to the lights to create coordinate patterns. The custom electronics and software we designed and manufactured saved miles of wiring and thousands of soldering joints–the lights were even powered by current sent through the sculpture’s steel structure.
I worked with Brower Hatcher at Mid Ocean Studio to develop the concept, then prototyped it in stages, sourced all of the parts, and managed the manufacturing process for 1250 circuit boards. I designed the circuit board from scratch and wrote all of the embedded code (ASM) and computer host code (Java) to control the lights. There were a number of critical features that made this project challenging and interesting–for example, the firmware on the boards could be reprogrammed wirelessly from the host computer in case they needed to be updated once they were sealed in their enclosures and built into the sculpture.
That year, I spent more time than I’d like to recall 16 feet up in a scissor-lift in a St Louis light rail station.
A couple of years later, we installed a set of the same lights in the desert at the Tempe Center for the Arts in Arizona. This time, the lights responded to fluctuations in the temperature and amount of light present in the environment.