Transforming the Ordinary Iconography of Traffic Signals

We’re pleased to announce that this year, “Crossing Signal Mosaic”, a light sculpture installation in Emeryville, California, is the winner of our third annual JUST IMAGINE Awards. The spectacular work of art, created by artist Thérèse Lahaie, features LuciteLux® Spectrum in Opal White acrylic.

The JUST IMAGINE Awards celebrate designers who embrace the originality of working with and creating designs using LuciteLux® acrylic. The program recognizes a designer’s achievement and celebrates their distinctive contribution to the world of design using our material.

“Crossing Signal Mosaic” is part of an Art in Public Places Project, completed in 2015 at Parc on Powell Apartments. In a competitive housing market, local developer Equity Residential wanted a dynamic piece of art that would infuse life into their building and attract young renters. The City of Emeryville Art in Public Places Committee sought something that would combine art and technology to reflect the focus of neighboring businesses. All of their wishes were met with “Crossing Signal Mosaic”!

When Lahaie began researching for the project, she was enamored with the compelling images of saturated colors and rhythms of the pedestrian crossing signals during nighttime. She decided to transform the ordinary iconography of these traffic signals into something extraordinary by creating a light sculpture that would serve as a conversation with the street intersection, both as a reflection and counterpoint.

Having worked with light and glass for the past 30 years, Lahaie had to approach this project differently due to the scale, weight and code restrictions. While considering other diffusive materials, she discovered LuciteLux® acrylic and knew instantly that it would fit the constraints without compromising her vision.

LuciteLux® acrylic’s large sheet size, reflective characteristics and fantastic transmission of backlit RGB LEDs were perfect for the sculpture Lahaie envisioned. Additionally, its suitability for ceiling mounted applications that must meet strict earthquake codes in California, was an important factor.

As the winner of the JUST IMAGINE Awards 2015, Lahaie will receive a high-profile promotional campaign that includes a full-page spread in the January issue of Architectural Record. Click here to watch a ‘making of’ documentary to learn more about how Lahaie’s project came to life.

Crossing Signal Mosaic Credits

© Therese Lahaie: Artist

Fabricator: SignEffectz/AFX

Project Manager – artifacts

Composer/ Programing: Laurie Polster

Studio Assistant – Marnika Shelton

Developer: Equity Residential

Architect: Kava Massih Architects

Contractor: Build Group

Controls: Wunder Controls, David West