Luminous Kite Lanterns was designed and installed collaboratively by a team led by Aki Ishida and students and faculty of Virginia Tech. Digital interactivity was designed in partnership with Benjamin Knapp, Ico Bukvic, and Brennon Bortz. It was commissioned by American Institute of Architect Blue Ridge chapter for their 2012 Design Award Exhibit on September 17, 2012. Sited at the Blacksburg Farmer's Market, this temporary public installation engaged the local residents, the university, and farmer's market vendors.
Kites made of mulberry paper sway and rotate together in response to wind. At night, they are lit with LED lights to create a luminous outdoor ceiling. The color of lights shifts from warm white to orange as people enter the space under the kites and becomes intense red as the occupants' motion increases. Ambient sound of wood chimes is heard as people's motion is captured by sensors, creating a multisensory space that responds to people's presence and natural forces of the breeze. In integration with digital technology, Luminous Kite Lanterns brings awareness to our interconnectedness to nature and amongst people occupying a public space.