Kinetic Wind Sculpture Outside ITLL Building

For my upcycling project I took inspiration from the kinetic wind sculpture that hangs outside of the ITLL Building on the CU Boulder campus. For the upcycling project I mostly took inspiration from its overall aesthetic and meaning. For my final project I am planning on creating an artifact that is more similar to the kinetic wind sculpture.

Wind Veil – Ned Kahn

In researching kinetic wind sculptures I came across Ned Kahn who has done a lot of work with kinetic wind sculptures. I have included an image of one of his sculptures which covers an entire parking garage in North Carolina. You can see how the wind causes the light reflecting off the panels to shimmer. I highly recommend looking Ned Kahn’s work on youtube to see it in action.

Field of Air – Ned Kahn

Both the ITLL wind sculpture and the Wind Veil piece look very similar and follow the same method for creating motion. I looked into Ned Kahn’s other works and found his “Field of Air” piece that resides at the Denver International Airport. The piece has the same effect as the other two but achieves the effect using a different motion.

My vision for this project is a kinetic wind sculpture that I can hang on a outside wall or set down as a standalone sculpture. I chose to follow a minimalist aesthetic with minimal decorative features beyond the shimmering disks. I want the artifact to be large enough to visualize how the flow of air is different at different locations. This sculpture should hopefully be calming to the viewer and make them more knowledgeable about how the world is flowing around them.

Initial Project Sketch

I have included an image of my initial sketch for the project. I decided to follow a similar approach to the ITLL wind sculpture and Ned Kahn’s “Wind Veil”. Instead of having a black canvas behind the dynamic sculpture like the ITLL sculpture I opted to go with a transparent “backing”. To connect the reflective disks I had initially planned to use fishing line but after doing additional research I plan to use key rings.

Final Project Plans

A CAD drawing of my final project plans is shown above. It will contain 320 mylar disks. The frame will be made out of wood for cost reasons. I have not begun fabricating the project but I have ordered materials to streamline the fabrication process in the future.


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4 Comments. Leave new

  • Hi Alex, I’m a big fan of your idea! I had never really paid a lot of attention to these fixtures before, but your post makes me want to look out for them. It’s really interesting to see how these are altered by fluid flows one would not be able to see otherwise. Are there other dynamic fixtures that you are inspired by as well?

  • Hey Alex! These example wind sculptures are really awesome sources of inspiration. When I think of wind sculptures at DIA, I think of the propellers that are mounted inside the train tunnel that spin when the train speeds by. Apparently there are 5,280 propellers mounted there, which is Denver’s big number and elevation! What material will your transparent background be made of? I am excited to see the final product!

    • Alex Fitzgerald
      March 20, 2024 9:07 am

      Hey Katie! If I will use a backing it would likely be transparent acrylic but I’m going back and forth on whether or not I want to have a backing to allow for the air to flow through the piece more.


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