Chinook Arc is an interactive, illuminated sculpture that reflects our impressions of the Beltline neighborhood as a well defined, confident and vibrant community. The form draws inspiration from the historic Beltline Streetcar loop that once encircled the neighborhood, as well as the Chinook arch phenomenon that periodically blankets the sky. These two identifying boundaries inspired the crisp edges and rounded curves seen in the work. The enclosed space within the sculpture frames the sky and becomes an immersive color environment in the evening. Visitors to Chinook Arc have complete control over the lighting through an optical sensor that projects the movements and colors it sees onto the sculpture. Visitors can wave their hands, move colored objects or play a movie on their cell phones in order to create their own light sequences.
It was important for us to create an object that also acted as an environment. With this goal, we had to create a sculpture that was very high tech at it’s core, but maintained a low tech interface, so anyone could use it. We created our own high powered LED lights for the sculpture and an optical sensor for complete interactivity. At our opening event for Chinook Arc, we were pleased to see that visitors of all ages were interacting with the sculpture in different ways. Residents of the Beltline and surrounding communities told us that Chinook Arc has already become a fixture in their neighborhood – a place to meet other residents, take a date, or a separate world to duck into during a busy day in the City.