Reshaping Public Space


Presentation Title:

  • Reshaping Public Space




  • Janet Echelman found her voice as an artist when her paints went missing, which forced her to look towards her surroundings and at a new art material – fishing nets. Now she makes billowing sculpture the scale of buildings that become inviting focal points for civic life. She combines ancient craft with cutting-edge technology to create monumental, ultra-lightweight art that moves gently with the wind.

    How can we enhance public spaces in cities to make them engage individuals and community? What can entice us to slow down and take a moment of pause in our busy lives? Janet Echelman shares her journey exploring these questions in cities across the globe, from San Francisco to New York City, Amsterdam to Sydney. Echelman will discuss her work to create social spaces for people to gather, including her most recent work, which embodies the infusion of art and technology. “Skies Painted with Unnumbered Sparks” spanned 745 feet across Vancouver’s waterfront and was presented with an interactive lighting program, as visitors were able to choreograph the lighting in real time using physical gestures on their mobile devices.