Once a major hub for manufacturing, the Kitchener-Waterloo (KW) region is now considered Silicon Valley north and the hot spot for Canada’s growing tech community. With newly opened offices of Yahoo, Google and other major tech players as well as dozens of burgeoning start-ups, this area located an hour from Toronto is proving to be one of the fastest growing communities in the country. Comprised of a combination of converted warehouses and new buildings, Kitchener’s downtown is seeing an influx of new businesses and satellite offices of major companies based in Toronto.
Created for the lobby atrium of one of these new buildings on King Street, Binary Spectrum is a site-specific installation that embodies ideas springing from KW’s rich history of manufacturing and their new digital realm. The three-storey immersive installation, constructed from 8,000 coloured discs on 650 cables, weaves together the past and future of KW's industry from manufacturing to tech hub. The installation explores the yin-yang relationship of tangible fabricated object (manufacturing) with a representation of the intangible digital realm. The repetitive discs suggest digital processes and fractal patterns found in science, and are used to create a spatial effect with a human scale.
The dynamic installation transforms the lobby atrium into a space focusing on experience and the kinetic properties of the installation: as people move in and past the space on two levels, the vertical lines softly sway back and forth, bringing the sculpture to life and reflecting the buzzing energy of the building’s inhabitants. The myriad of patterns viewed from different perspectives provides a new sensory experience with each angle; whether viewed from the exterior, from below or adjacent on the upper floor, visitors can engage with the installation in unique ways. Comforting in their familiar shape and colour, the translucent coloured discs fill the space and draw people in from the street. The contrast that is created by two ends of the colour spectrum is softened through the gradient between them: warm and cool colours merge together and resonate with the furniture, specifically sourced to coordinate with the blue-coloured discs. The faceted furniture is arranged for spatial effect, to create a defined resting space within the larger lobby and a multiplicity of vantage points from which to view the installation.