Silent Lights Urban Installation

Silent Lights is an urban light installation at the intersection of Navy St and Park Avenue, Brooklyn, commissioned by the NYC DOT

The Project 

Silent Lights is a light installation over a pedestrian pathway that responds to the large amount of traffic noise on the Brooklyn Queens Expressway (BQE) at the intersection of Park Avenue and Navy St. Since the noise is invisible but ever-present, we created an installation that visualizes the noise. This allows the pedestrians to see the noise in various patterns versus just hearing it.

Experience Design

The installation acts as a way finding element where it amplifies the nearly invisible pedestrian path by making it more pronounced, visible and interactive. The installation  accentuates the pathway with illumination which will respond to the traffic noise and light up sequentially every time a vehicle passes through the BQE.  As people walk under each gate, they will experience a brief moment of auditory peace from the overwhelming noise.  The project allows both participant and passerby to partake in the installation simultaneously – becoming more aware of their environment and sound levels.  The components will function as a living classroom as they will be used in specific educational settings.

The Partnerships

The project is being done in partnership with the Urban Arts Program of DOT and Brooklyn Arts Council with support from Artplace America, Black Rock Foundation, Designers Lighting Forum of New York,  Awesome Foundation and individual donors. .

The Community 

We are partnering with the Red Hook Initiative to develop a series of workshops for local teens to learn physical computing. These workshops will start in the Spring of 2014.

We organized a fundraiser last year to raise additional funding for the project. Generous donations were made by family, friends and the local Brooklyn community to make this project a reality

The project is in the process of being installed and will be functional mid December 2013.

SilentLights_NavyandPark_Map (1)

Location of the installation, Brooklyn, NYC

Prototype being showcased at a fundraiser event 2012

Photo Nov 15, 3 38 43 PM_cropped

In process of being installed

Installed and lit for the first time

Installed and lit for the first time

Photo Nov 16, 12 38 56 PM_cropped

Silent Lights physical structure

Photo Nov 15, 4 29 54 PM_cropped

Silent Lights physical structure being installed

Observing the color changing lights

Observing the color changing lights


Urban Arts Program DOT

Release Date:
In Progress

  • Concept Design
  • Participatory Design
  • Design Build
  • Interaction Design

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