Glass wall channels thermal energy

by Ofentse Sefolo
Glass wall channels thermal energy

Think of our bodies as vessels of energy, containing both fire and water, constantly undergoing renewal and death at a cellular level as the fire of life consumes, but is tempered by the liquid flowing through us.

Heat as art
Translating this concept of the radiant energy within our bodies using experimental illumination, “Thermally Speaking” utilised thermography and infrared measuring instruments to uncover the fields of energy of which we are all a part. The responsive installation transformed Toronto’s Fort York Visitor Centre for Nuit Blanche 2019.

Interactive installation
Participating in a dance of heat and light, spectators were invited to move through, over and around the ramp of the installation, both as observers and subjects of observation. Translating the heat energy, thermal imaging cameras relayed images of visitors into a shifting curtain of light, animating the phenomena onto the channel glass facades of the Fort York building.

Photo credit: Doublespace Photography

Combined talents
The project uses infrared measurement tools, dynamic lighting, projections and advanced controls, uncovering the fields of energy that all bodies share.

Designed by Leu Webb Projects and produced in collaboration with Mulvey & Banani Lighting as part of their CITYLights Toronto initiative, the installation also provided an opportunity for technical development for students in the field of lighting design and using this energy to transform architecture.

Strolling along the thermal path. Photo credit: Doublespace Photography

Lighting the wall
Lighting design has evolved as an integral discipline, requiring dedicated specialists to design, interpret and apply continually evolving lighting equipment and control technologies and stringent energy codes. Beyond navigating the technical complexities, lighting designers bring value to a project through their mastery of lighting as a medium of mood.

In two days, the team installed 1 500m of cabling and over 100 lights, illuminating more than 250m of channel glass wall. The installation used two thermal cameras that controlled multiple video projectors and 893 channels of lighting control.

This installation is a true revolution in the field of lighting, design and architecture, providing a glimpse into a future of body temperature readings, creative data visualisation and surveillance fields.

Acknowledgement and thanks are given to Leu Webb Projects in collaboration with Mulvey & Banani Lighting for the information used in this article.

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