Dana Hemenway, SFAC | One Hat One Hand

Traditional Craft Woven into a Grand Chandelier

In creating this sweeping installation, great care went into the fabrication of two separate structural steel arcs, sectioned for transport and on-site install. This foresight enabled a seamless connection between sections, ensuring continuity of the arc. Steel was necessary for structural and electrical needs, and to provide “softness” we laminated the steel with Italian Poplar, finishing to subtly feature the woodgrain. This installation used common electrical equipment such as extension cords and outlets in unconventional ways, requiring a UL listing and detailed documentation for archiving. Given that 3-prong plugs and extension cords aren’t used for low-voltage DC, we devised a connector to translate the voltage coming from the cords to the bulbs. Working together with Dana, we solved for this in designing and 3D printing an aluminum housing that would conceal the connection point.
"The Color of Horizons" is a site-specific, suspended light sculpture by Bay Area artist Dana Hemenway, installed at San Francisco International Airport. Dana applies craft techniques – such as weaving and macramé – to utilitarian objects, effectively transforming the object’s value beyond its functionality. The project includes materials like rope, extension cords, circline bulbs, and ceramics. For this sculpture, we needed to ensure not only that the lighting functioned within the art, but that the enclosure that housed the sculpture met the building standards of the airport. We started with a series of sketches and 3D prints to test the connection transition between the extension cords to the bulbs; then worked into small-scale prototypes before moving to full-scale mockups.