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Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL

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Jason Bruges Studio – Wind to Light

  • On September 16, 2007

At the Tate last saturday Jason Bruges Studio talked about a number of their recent projects including this one called ‘wind to light’ which you may have seen featured in the press earlier in the summer, Jason described how it was created to inspire people to think creatively about the spaces that surround them and explore the sustainable alternatives to developing our built environment.

‘Wind to light’ is a custom built, site-specific installation consisting of 500 miniature wind turbines directly generating the power to illuminate hundreds of integrally mounted LEDs (light-emitting diodes). the effect is to create ‘firefly-like fields of light’ where the wind can be visualized as an ephemeral electronic cloud in the atmosphere. the turbine and LED modules are attached to their base by flexible poles which allow them to slightly sway in the wind, animating the movement of the wind by a digital, electronic means.

The self-powered, autonomous installation illustrates the simplicity and directness of wind power and its potential, literally and symbolically closing the gap between power generation and consumption. wind to light presents wind power in a visually tangible way and one that is characterised primarily by its resultant output rather than process. it eloquently illustrates the silent power of wind. Wind to light presents the perspective that wind power can be an attractive or even potentially beautiful addition to the landscape, contrary to many widespread opinions that wind turbines are a man-made, visual and physical intrusion upon scenery and its natural beauty.

The relocation of wind power from the rural environment to urban surroundings literally brings it closer to us and suggests that as our requirements from wind power have evolved since the use of windmills so should our attitudes towards its application and location. perhaps wind turbines are more suited within the man made environment than nature where they are alien and their need is divorced from them.

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