Markets / Architectural / World’s first interactive light display over water

World’s first interactive light display over water

James Thomas Engineering played a crucial role in bringing to life a one-of-a-kind interactive lighting display in South Bend, Indiana to celebrate its 150th birthday and add another layer of revitalization to the city. Designed by internationally renowned lighting designer Rob Shakespeare, it’s the world’s first interactive display of light over a body of water.
South Bend is a picturesque city with the St. Joseph River majestically flowing through its downtown area. Beautiful and vibrant during the day, the river turns dark and grim when the sun goes down. Rob’s goal was to activate this area in the evening and unite the different demographics of the east and west banks with a fun, interactive destination.
The unique, interactive lighting display is made up of five components: The Jefferson St. bridge, the “Keepers of the fire” sculpture, the downstream crescent that lights up the cascades, the trio sculpture on Century City Island, and the Forest Towers directly across the river at Seitz Park.
James Thomas Engineering aluminium trusses are used in eight interactive sculptures (5m – 10m tall), one 14m horizontal arc sculpture, 4 arches on the 152m Jefferson Bridge, illumination of diSuvero’s “Keeper of the Fire” sculpture, and dynamic lighting of the river’s 76m white water cascades.
Rob Shakespeare and Aaron Perri, Executive Director of Downtown South Bend Corp., worked together for three years to realize this project. Members of the Project Team who contributed their time and expertise included Richard Chapman, Corey Noland, Tim Moran, Mike Brubaker, Sean Smallman and Landscape Architect Chris Chockley.
James Thomas Engineering gives you the means to think outside the box with their offer of truss and support structures. A world of possibilities is in your hands.
The First
Rigging & Trussing
Television play