For Design Week Portland, SEGD invited Second Story to participate in their event entitled Revolution in the Landscape: Re-experience Halprin’s Fountains. Almost 50 years after the fountains were created, this event aimed to reactivate the fountains through the use of typography, color, form, light, sound, and technology.
Nestled between commercial and residential spaces in downtown Portland, Lawrence Halprin’s Open Spaces Sequence is regarded as one of the most important pieces of late 20th century public art in the US. Our goal was to stay true to Halprin’s original intent of creating a civic space choreographed for movement and performance while highlighting the late Modernist aesthetic of the fountain.
Using the fountain as the armature, we created a luminescent string sculpture that extended the radiating geometry of the fountain and created a stage for interaction. A console at the foot of the fountain invited visitors to highlight the natural beauty of Halprin’s architecture with focused beams of light, resulting in a continuously evolving interplay of color, shadow, and structure. A sparse, textural soundscape accompanied the interaction and shifted in and out of focus in response to the changing light environment.