ACU Lightwalk, as the project is named, is more than just a new installation of colored lights, it is also designed to inspire community gatherings, said Nil Santana, assistant professor of art and design and director of the Maker Lab.
The fixtures are made out of LED-filled plastic tubes controlled by a small computer. The entire installation is composed of 35 clusters, with 10 stalks each. There are over 20,000 lights throughout the Lightwalk.
Almost three years ago, a family donation made in honor of Ray and Kay McGlothlin was given to the university to create a modern, cutting-edge sculpture that would combine and involve a broad spectrum of disciplines in the STEM and art fields.
As a result of collaboration between the Maker Lab, 22 ACU faculty and students and Viget – a company that combines design and engineering to create products and experiences, the ACU Lightwalk was completed at the beginning of this semester. Although, Santana said there will be minimal updates to the app periodically by Dr. Reeves, the executive director of information technology, and other students who have contributed to the project.
“Like many other projects in our campus, I expect The Quad to not only become an important ACU landmark, but also an attraction for the Abilene community and certainly a meeting point for our students,” Santana said. “Even during initial testing, it has been amazing to witness families bring their kids, let them play and interact with the light reeds. To me, seeing their reactions and listening to their comments has been fulfilling. Working on this collaborative project has been one of the most rewarding experiences for me.”
Students can interact with the ACU Lightwalk by going to lightwalk.acu.edu.