SkySong, The ASU Scottsdale Innovation Center is now home to a new and spectacular public art installation.
Sunburst has been installed approximately 20 feet above the ground just outside of SkySong 5, welcoming visitors to the project entering from Scottsdale Road onto SkySong Boulevard. The steel and glass structure is suspended in the air with cables, and is constructed from stainless steel and laminated glass.
According to the artists, Shane Allbritton and Norman Lee of RE:site, “we took inspiration from the spherical astrolabe, an astronomical computer used throughout history for navigation and predicting the positions of the Sun and stars. Sunburst, reinterprets the rings of an astrolabe as sunburst diagrams, a type of data visualization used in diverse fields to show meaningful relationships in complex data.”
The sculpture features three stainless-steel framework rings that are embedded with color-changing glass panels. The three rings are connected in a three-axis relationship, inspired by the form of a spherical astrolabe. Suspended by steel columns, “the resulting form is a dramatic, radiant gesture that celebrates the convergence of data, technology, and the global economy,” the artists said.
Sharon Harper, Chairman and CEO of Plaza Companies, said the new artwork is part of SkySong’s vision of connecting the business community, public sector and arts community.
“This is a stunning addition to SkySong and really embodies the spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship we have created as part of the project,” Harper said. “We are very pleased with how this artwork turned out and how it is enriching the project’s mission as a connector of business, community and art.”
Plaza Companies is the master developer of SkySong, in partnership with University Realty, the City of Scottsdale and Holualoa Companies. The art was installed with funds that were agreed to between the ASU Foundation and City of Scottsdale several years ago.
According to the artists, the title Sunburst has multiple meanings. “The Sun is central to ASU symbolism and the natural environment of Arizona,” they wrote in a recent blog post. “As the bright Arizona sun travels overhead, the sculpture’s dichroic glass panels change color, transparency, and reflectivity. The artwork changes continually with the movement of the sun and the viewer, poetically evoking that technologically-driven data is continually changing in real-time.”
“We strive to create an exceptional environment at SkySong, and features such as Sunburst bring life to this unique business space,” said Neal Woodbury, interim executive vice president and chief science and technology officer, ASU Knowledge Enterprise. “It is gratifying to see such beautiful visual elements accompany the work being done at SkySong.”
SkySong is a 42-acre mixed use development designed to:
• Create an ecology of collaboration and innovation among high-profile technology enterprises and related researchers;
• Advance global business objectives of on-site enterprises;
• Raise Arizona’s profile as a global center of innovation through co-location of ASU’s strategic global partners; and
• Create a unique regional economic and social asset.
Companies located at SkySong have the opportunity to partner with Arizona State University, which has more than 100,000 students studying across four metropolitan Phoenix campuses, in Lake Havasu City, Los Angeles, Washington D.C. ASU is one of the largest public universities in the nation, with the majority of its students attending its campus in Tempe, Arizona, less than three miles from SkySong.
In addition to locating its own innovative research units at the center, through ASU’s on-site operations, tenant companies have a single point of contact for introductions to researchers, faculty and programs to address their specific needs.