SOFTlab designs Stratus, a public art installation within a historic building in San Francisco

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SOFTlab designs Stratus, a public art installation within a historic building in San Francisco
Installation view.

SAN FRANCISCO, CA.- New York-based design studio SOFTlab has completed a permanent installation, Stratus, in the historic lobby of 315 Montgomery in San Francisco, commissioned by Vornado Realty Trust. Stratus, on view from the street 24 hours a day, consists of a layered array of brass tubes that contrast with the ornate architecture of the lobby in its simplicity. The brass tubes are punctuated by a cloud-like pattern of laser-cut holes; each tube houses a custom LED and diffuser assembly and is programmed with a subtle light pattern that simulates air flow. The two layers of brass tubes are staggered, giving the animated light a three dimensional effect, which is enhanced as the light from one tube reflects off of its neighbors. During the day the assembly comes together in the shape of a light organ, while at night, the tubes fade into the background and the cloud-like LEDs appear to flow through the back wall of the lobby.

315 Montgomery Street, part of the Bank of America complex, is a 16-story office tower in the financial district of San Francisco which was originally built in 1922.

SOFTlab is a design studio founded by Michael Szivos and based in New York City. The studio has designed and produced projects across almost every medium, from digitally fabricated large-scale sculpture to interactive design to immersive digital video installations. As the studio adjusts to a wide range of projects, they focus less on medium and more on ideas.

SOFTlab embraces projects through a mix of research, ideas, and craft. The studio is invested in projects that require significant research and experimentation, taking advantage of what they learn from the design of client-based work. The constraints of these client-based projects are treated as opportunities and tested through a collaborative studio environment with the hopes of solving typical problems in new ways, with new tools. Through a unique blend of backgrounds as designers, artists, architects and educators, the studio is able to approach every project from a fresh perspective to create rich spatial, graphic, interactive and visual experiences. By mixing research, creativity and technology with a strong desire to make work fun, SOFTlab attempts to create new and unique experiences.

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