Turning Sky | The 606


In 2015, a disused train line running through Chicago’s west side opened as an elevated trail named the 606 to the public. The 606 was conceived as a living work of art with plans to integrate temporary and permanent installations throughout the functional trail.

Turning Sky is a lighting station, located at the Milwaukee Ave intersection on the 606 that visualizes ephemeral conditions of the city: the local weather and atmospheric conditions on the trail. Highlighting the physical infrastructure of the trail, LED light nodes trace the suspension cables on a bridge and transmit information through colored lights. This installation is both a visually compelling and informative. Adding dynamism and more light to the trail, the LED lights also transmit real time information. Over time, the information it transmits will change—the inaugural display reflected wind patterns and speed, with future plans to visualize real time air quality for nearby residents.

Using data from The Array of Things, an urban sensing project in Chicago, Turning Sky is able to visualize and communicate conditions of the city. The partnership between the University of Chicago, Argonne National Laboratory, and the City of Chicago has placed data collection nodes throughout the city and was developed to better understand, serve, and improve the city through this data. While the collected data is free and open to the public, this project creates a user-friendly and accessible visualization of these data. This is the first project by Luftwerk that pulls from a live data stream.



Block Electric
John Faier
Trust for Public Land

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