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This Installation Is Powered By The Wind From 40 Chinese Cities

Royal College of Art student Jiayu Liu transformed wind into data and then back into the wind that powers this beautiful installation.

Images courtesy of the artist

The Royal College of Art (RCA) Degree Show is a veritable hotbed of up-and-coming art and design talent, wherein graduate students who have been studying for years to become experts in their crafts. gather to display work that exemplifies some of the most cutting edge ideas in the art world.

RCA student Jiayu Liu is one such budding artist, whose real-time data visualization installation, Within Invisibility, made its successful debut at the show. Made up of 80 hanging fans, each with 11 blue LED lights resting on its blades, the installation reacts to wind pattern data collected from 40 Chinese cities, converting their previous six hours of information into a six-second rhodonea curve. This conversion enables her to “fully visualize a full day’s wind dynamics within a visitor’s attention span,” Jiayu told The Creators Project in an email.


When combined, these disparate elements create the magical feeling a dark forest populated by mystical, mechanical creatures (akin to the Kodama from Princess Mononoke). Knowing that each machine represents an ephemeral force, thousands of miles away, lends the experience an unparalleled level of environmentally-minded cerebro-surrealism.

Jiayu explains that she chose wind as the subject of her study, because, “Though invisible, wind is a universal force, tightly connected with a city’s climate, landscape, even infrastructure and traffic. Thus I have chosen wind as an agent to express multiple layers of data, to allow viewers to not only see but feel the data just as one feels the wind, be it gusty gale or gentle breeze.” It might be a roundabout way to beat the heat, but hey, it sure is a beautiful one.

See more of Jiayu’s work on her Royal College of Art profile or her Vimeo page.


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tags: “data visualization” “data” “wind” “LED” “installation” “china” “design” “Jiayu Liu” “Royal College of Art”