Heart Beacon

Heart Beacon
An immersive color and sound environment.
Heart Beacon
A symbol of hope and resilience. Night view of model.
Heart Beacon
Invites community expression and group interaction. Aerial, night view of model.
Heart Beacon
Inspired by the elegant industrial aesthetic seen in bridges throughout the Portland area. Day view of model.
Heart Beacon
Heart Beacon
Heart Beacon
  • In →
  • Acrylic,
  • Interactive,
  • LED,
  • Outdoor,
  • Stainless

Heart Beacon is an interactive enclosure of light, color, and sound located at the Emergency Coordination Center in Portland, Oregon. The sculpture acts as a symbol of hope and resilience for the community, similar to a lighthouse in that it both comforts and warns. The simple geometry and gentle curve of the two halves resemble wings and exude strength and calm in a time of crisis. This highly interactive sculpture takes the literal and metaphoric ‘pulse’ of the Portland community. The sculpture takes inspiration from the life-saving mission of the Emergency Coordination Center.

During the day, sunlight streams through the acrylic walls creating a diffused glow of light and shadow patterns. There are two touch activated pulse sensors that visitors are able to touch and trigger a heartbeat noise within the walls of the sculpture. In the evening, energy efficient color changing LED lighting projects rhythmic lighting displays along the walls of the sculpture in sync with visitors’ heartbeats. People are encouraged to work together to coordinate pulse-activated lighting effects. Heart Beacon celebrates life and the inspiration to protect it by bringing preparedness into each person’s daily life.

completed, 2013

9' x 9' x 18'

stainless steel, acrylic, LED lighting, electronics, sound transducers, heartbeat sensors

Emergency Coordination Center, Portland, OR

Commissioning Agency:
City of Portland

Joe O'Connell and Blessing Hancock