Bridge with lights

ProjectUmeå Autumn Lights Festival Installation

Umeå Autumn Lights Festival Installation

We investigate how an existing urban space, a pedestrian tunnel under a busy road, can be enriched using low-cost, lightweight sensors, digital technology, and lighting equipment. Our installation utilizes bars of LED lights placed in a pedestrian tunnel and connected to and individually controlled by a microcontroller.

When vehicles pass overhead, a laser sensor detects the movement and passes on this data to the microcontroller that processes the data and changes the lighting within the tunnel in various ways according to our custom-made algorithms.

The purpose of the installation has been to convey meaning in an ambient, non-prescriptive way to the pedestrians, bicyclists, and others passing through the tunnel about the traffic situation on the busy roadway overhead.

In carrying out this project in a public space not originally designed for installations and events of this kind, we have encountered a large number of practical concerns that need to be dealt with, including issues of access to the power grid, changing weather condition, stakeholders and gatekeepers with different perspectives, and issues of safety and vandalization.