Alyu: Light Installation

Made by Jason Zhu, yingyanz, Chloé Desaulles and Sujan Das Shrestha

Created: October 3rd, 2018



Alyu is a light-based generative installation located in the central atrium of Pittsburgh's International Airport. The installation seeks to welcome visitors to a city historically known for steel production but currently regarded as a hub for innovation and technology. Alyu, Scottish for alive, pays homage to Pittsburgh's Scottish roots while also reflecting the city's present-day dynamic and vibrant nature. As such, Alyu aims to reconcile both Pittsburgh's historical and contemporary sides as it welcomes visitors to the city.



Our project is established on the idea of showcasing Pittsburgh's vibrant technological scene while also respecting its industrial legacy.

We intend to accomplish this through an installation that merges these sentiments into corporeal experience. Our solution? Introducing Alyu, a series of carefully placed four by two meter blocks. Inspired by Studio Drift's Coded Nature project, Alyu's borders are made of rusted steel recycled from Carries Furnace, the remnants of the last standing steel blast furnaces in Pittsburgh. While the exterior might be rustic and reminiscent of antiquated days, the interior represents Pittsburgh's vibrant future. Within the tainted acrylic panels that cover the outside is an LED array. These LED's light up in a soothing pattern that signifies both Pittsburgh's reputation as a city of down to earth "yinzers" (a word used to identify Pittburgh natives and their traditions) and Pittsburgh's many rivers and bridges. As the day goes on and the sun sets, the LED's gradually brighten while the rustic exterior fades. This comes to represent the new overtaking the old.



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Chloé Desaulles -
Alyu: Demo Video
Jason Zhu -
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48-734 Reactive Spaces and Media Architecture

· 25 members

How can embedded computation change the way we experience our surroundings? This class will focus on the design and prototyping of reactive spaces. Over the course of several small projects and one...more