Written by Competitions

99 White Balloons

Field Constructs Design Competition, 2015

99 White Balloons, a proposal by Brad Cantrell, Allen Sayegh, Stefano Andreani, Craig Reschke, Ziyi Zhang, is activated by a series of microphones and proximity sensors as well as 396 LED lights that float high above the ground with the balloons. When a person (or deer or  other wildlife) approaches the proximity sensor, a stepper motor slowly draws the balloon cable  closer to the ground at that anchor tower. As they move away, the balloon cable is released. Similarly, sounds picked up by the microphones at each anchor tower increase the intensity of the LEDs in waves outward from that tower. The towers themselves are equipped with LEDs that respond to small temperature variations, illuminating the microclimates at work between the ground and the tree canopy. Each tower, and its relationship to the floating ring, illustrates  the small differences in each of the preserve’s three landscape types through temperature, ambient sound, and movement.