It was a stretch, but architect Ali Heshmati, LEAD Inc., Minneapolis, Minn., and light architect Dr. Lars Meess-Olsohn pulled together an installation at the GLOW 2008 International Forum of Light in Art and Architecture that enticed 150,000 participants to walk through their “Dar Luz” performance piece in Eindhoven, The Netherlands. Visitors walked on a 22-meter catwalk through a segmented caterpillar-like frame covered with Lycra Expandex while laser curtains and sound systems responded to the size and speed of the walker. “The direct interaction with the visitor/actor caused an immediate awareness of the visual and aural environment,” says Heshmati.
Part social sculpture, part interactive performance piece, “Dar Luz” was designed to be self-exploratory and interactive. It would have been impossible to produce within time and budget constraints without fabric, according to Heshmati. “Its economy, practicality, immediacy, flexibility and an innate ability to relate to light and its coloration, volume and intensity, were reasons for our choice of fabric,” he says. Heshmati’s creative use of fabric tensioned structures won LEAD Inc. an IFAI 2009 International Achievement Award.