Phoenix Touts Artwork Embedded in ASU's New Journalism Building

A "green" public art project incorporated into Arizona State University's new journalism building in downtown Phoenix puts on a slow-moving light show during the day as it funnels warm air up and out of a stairwell.

After the project received extra attention during last week's official dedication of the Walter Cronkite School for Journalism and Mass Communication building, the city's office of Arts and Culture put out a news release last week to emphasize its funky features.

Though the art looks about as exciting as venetian blinds from the outside, it illuminates a 71-foot stairwell with shifting light patterns and colors.

As seen below, the effect can be dramatic on the inside -- art lovers are welcome to go check it out during business hours.

"There is constant change and movement throughout the day," says Phoenix public art program director, Ed Lebow.

Artist Paul Deeb designed the project, called "Aldis" to help warm air travel upward faster, keeping a constant air flow in the stairwell and "lessening the heat load," Lebow says. (Of course, the stairwell still needs to be air-conditioned in the summer). The rushing air moves dozens of foil thingys that add to the motion effect of the reflections and shadows seen by observers.

The young journalists who work in the building can stare at the shifting images and marvel at how it symbolizes the uncertain nature of their own chosen industry.

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Ray Stern has worked as a newspaper reporter in Arizona for more than two decades. He's won numerous awards for his reporting, including the Arizona Press Club's Don Bolles Award for Investigative Journalism.
Contact: Ray Stern