Interactive Installation in West Edmonton Mall

by Lindsay Shapka in ,


I recently attended the unveiling of this intriguing installation by Canadian architect Philip Beesley at the first Simons store outside of Quebec. (Simons is a 170-year-old family run fashion Mecca that recently opened in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada).

Beesley is known for his intensely creative works often referred to as "Liminal Responsive Architecture". Part creature, part mechanics and part environment, these creations are both beautifully fluid and mechanically cold at the same time. 

Philip Beesley at the unveiling of Aurora 

Titled Aurora, this stunning new installation is composed of hundreds of thousands of individual components that, according to the artist's website, include "laser-cut stainless steel, acrylic and mylar, densely massed glass vessels, and custom computer-controlled circuitry." The resulting effect is "an ethereal overhead canopy designed to gently swell and ripple in an ocean of intelligent LED lights that responds to viewers gathering below", reminiscent of its namesake — Aurora Borealis or Northern Lights.