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Manhattan, New York

“In New York everything happens in the street.”

“America”, Jean Baudrillard

We wanted to create a kinetic façade fueled by humans and choreographed by their action. A canvas of everyday life translating the energy, diversity, and individuality of a New York street into an image on the face of a building.

An installation on the 160’ long façade of the Roger Smith Hotel that wraps the corner of 47th Street and Lexington Avenue promotes direct interaction between an awning made up of kinetic metal bars and the pedestrians on the street below. Inspired by the collaboration between the two great artists, Isamu Noguchi and Buckminster Fuller who worked at the hotel during the 1930’s to invent and model the Demoxion Car, we conceived a mechanical dune, a kinetic wheat field.

For our mechanical canvas we chose panels made up of fifty individual, straight, metal bars. The “bars,” lightweight rods of equal length and diameter, move in a wave like rhythm driven by sensors that are mounted beneath each row to monitor the presence of a moving person. If motion is detected the poles start pointing toward the target, creating a ripple through the field of poles.

A sea of bars sensing a sea of people presenting the life of the city on the face of their skyscraper host because in New York, everything happens in the street.

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