Computational Sculptures

Crisscross Signal Spire

Illuminating the conversation between the city of Boston and its residents in an interactive public sculpture.

Client
City of Boston

Collaborators
Höweler + Yoon Architecture

Press
Boston Globe
Boston Magazine

Crisscross Signal Spire is an interactive sculpture, designed by Höweler + Yoon, that visualizes the conversation between the city of Boston and its residents.  

The braided tubes form an interconnected map of Boston’s communities. Each segment represents one of the city’s 24 neighborhoods, and lights up whenever a 311 request is submitted or resolved in the corresponding neighborhood. Special activations occur when events are submitted in Dudley Square, where the sculpture is located.

In addition to 311 data, the sculpture visualizes social media conversations with the City of Boston, and momentarily transforms into a sparkling beacon in response to tweets with the #signalspire hashtag.

Sosolimited partnered with Höweler + Yoon to turn data into light. We designed custom software that downloads 311 and Twitter data in real time, analyzes it, and transforms it into animated patterns of light.      

Crisscross Signal Spire was supported by the Boston Arts Commission and the Boston Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics. It is a striking piece that brings together data and art in the heart of one of Boston's oldest neighborhoods and serves as an illuminated barometer for the community.

The sculpture responds to Boston 311 data and social media activity.
The sculpture transforms 311 requests into light.
Color changing LEDs inside of the sculpture light up whenever 311 requests are made.
Custom software analyzes data from Boston's 311 system in real time.
Signal Spire is an illuminated public artwork that activates the Dudley transportation hub.
Each segment of the sculpture represents one of the city’s 24 neighborhoods.
Local residents can trigger special animations by tweeting the sculpture with #signalspire.
Press & Accolades
The spire's elegant and simple look belies the sophisticated technologies used in its construction.
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