Rockwell Group’s Luminescent Holiday Installation


All images courtesy of Arbuckle Industries.

A collection of glowing lanterns can be seen cycling through choreographed shows of ambient light, as it hovers above the Winter Garden at Brookfield Place in lower Manhattan. Luminaries, the interactive display commissioned by Arts Brookfield, was designed by Rockwell Group in an effort to capture the holiday spirit through a collaborative ritual of color and light.


Mirroring the glass-enclosed atrium’s cascading staircase, the exhibition’s 650 LED-lit cubic luminoids visually draw passersby through the interior and towards the adjacent waterfront. The lanterns are engineered to emit a new sequence of kaleidoscopic light every hour, including preprogrammed shows such as “Firecracker” and “Snowfall.”


The ambitious impetus for Rockwell’s project was to create a holiday installation that acknowledges a human presence. The interaction of the crowds that pass through the Winter Garden public space is central to the installation. Visitors can contribute to the spectacle by curating the light and color of the overhead luminoids at any of the three touch-sensitive wishing stations, which pulsate in response to their touch. Each wish yields a donation to the Grammy Foundation in support of high school music education programs.


Instating a new form of holiday tradition, the dazzling canopy of lights seen in Luminaries provides the public with an engaging lighting ritual that celebrates hope and the shared vision of its viewers, while looking towards the future.

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