Streetlamp pole with custom LED chandelier responding in real time to wind speed, wind direction, humidity, and rainfall, 21 ft high, 5 ft diameter

A large chandelier with blue LED bulbs hangs from a sleekly modern lamp post, sprouting from the living roof of the Convention Centre West building. The LEDs are animated by exterior weather conditions — glowing, sparkling or dimming in response to humidity, rain and wind, measured by sensors integrated into the electronic system. Individual LEDs sparkle when rain falls, while gusts of wind dim the side of the chandelier that they hit. On clear and calm days, the piece remains constant.

Although the lights behave in proportion to actual measured conditions, the effect is essentially emotional, seeming to communicate felt changes in the environment. Viewers indoors can sense the rhythms of the natural world and the expressive effects of rain, wind, fog, and darkness. It creates a theatrical setting visible from within the Convention Centre and surrounding buildings, blending outdoor and indoor spaces and rhythms, societal and natural systems. It evokes diverse aspects of its surroundings: the sublime landscape, the ceremonial spaces of the city and mundane traffic. These combinations — industrial materials producing special effects, new technologies responding to elemental forces — might remind us of the different eras, economies and technical innovations that shape the region.

Commission for Vancouver Convention and Exhibition Centre. Fabrication: MC Lights, Barrie, ON. Technical coordinator: Gordon Hicks, P.Eng

Reviews, Articles & Essays: Kate Barron & Merete Kristiansen, Vancouver Observer, 18 Feb 2011.

Collection(s): Vancouver Convention and Exhibition Centre

Germaine Koh, Candelabrum, 2009, View from interior of Convention Centre, dusk. Photo by Germaine Koh.