The Luminous Sign, Milan Italy

wpa submitted this design for The Milan Luminous Sign competition with the lighting designer J. Miller and Associates in December 1999. The City of Milan requested a design of a marker to be placed in the Piazza Duca D Aosta in front of the train station. The marker was to signify the beginning of the millennium and to represent the culture of Milan. Our concept was based on the idea that as we enter the third millennium, it is light that connects us. Just as the locomotive and automobile brought people together from great distances in the 19th and 20th centuries, today light, in the form of technology, enables people to communicate with an immediacy that marks this as a unique moment in history. Our concept was to create a vessel of light which will receive and hold our thoughts, our dreams, our meditations. Thoughts are joined in intimate contact at the Central Station with distant voices while applying traditional craft with the new energy of high tech creation. With the employment of technology and light, this figure will project the cultural thought of Milan today and into the future. A variety of projectors and light fixtures illuminate the glass figure at night while its scale, shape, and powerful light mark this place from a distance. The projectors have the capability of projecting still photography, video, images from the internet and satellite transmissions. During the day these effects reverse. The lights are barely visibly and the glass reflects. The daytime activities of the surrounding move across the figure: people, automobiles, cloud patterns lend their animation to the glass surface. It's shape appears to mutate with weather, as it reflects the sky. It is a dynamic signifier in the Piazza Duca D Aosta that will reinforce Milan's role as a European City of modernity and culture