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Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL

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Evoke – Usman Haque

  • On November 1, 2007

Evoke by Architect & Artist Usman Haque is a massive animated 80,000 lumen projection, that lights up the facade of York Minster. The facade is brought to life by members of the public, who use their own voices to "evoke" colourful light patterns that emerge at the building’s foundations and soar up towards the sky, giving the surface a magical feeling as it melts with colour.

The cathedral, built to link conceptually earth to the heavens, has been a site for the conveyance of words, dreams and aspirations for hundreds of years. The facade is designed to orient the gazes of passers-by upwards. As an attempt to continue this tradition, the patterns of Evoke are generated in realtime by the words, sounds, music and noises produced collectively by the public, determined by their particular voice characteristics. The colours will skim the surface of the Minster, pour round its features and crevasses, emerging finally near the top of the facade where they will sparkle high overhead.

People with voices of different frequencies, rhythms or cadences will be able to evoke quite different magical patterns upon the surface of the building – a staccato chirping will result in a completely different set of visual effects to a long howl for example, blending old and new to continue animating the facade of the Minster.

Evoke is commissioned by Illuminating York 2007.


  1. ahhh, does it has to be THAT colourful? ­čÖü

  2. Yeah I see what you mean but check out the videos on Usmans site. Looks like using the entire spectrum of visible light to represent the entire spectrum of audible sound is successful

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