Virtual Sky Recognized with Grands Prix du Design Award

The Oklahoma City Convention Center is pleased to announce its stunning visual art piece, Virtual Sky, received the 2022 Grands Prix du Design Grand Prize Award, which features submissions from around the world. Virtual Sky was the overall winner for artwork in a public space. To be eligible for the grand prize, a project had to first win a gold certificate and then the platinum award.

The Grands Prix du Design Awards celebrate and reward the work of international designers and architects who improve our quality of life and the built environment, as well as the work of private and public clients who entrust them with their design needs. The awards were presented at the Cabaret du Casino in Montreal last month. Susan Narduli, a Los Angeles–based artist and architect, was the project lead, with support from 5Ten Visuals, developer Tommy Edkin, and OKC Arts. Narduli has designed pieces across the world that push the intersection of art, media, technology, and architecture.

The suspended structure spans the two glass public atriums. Within each, anodized titanium forms create an environment inspired by the sky’s movement. Their reflective surfaces respond to light and shadow from the surrounding environment. The palette evokes the subtle shifts of color one experiences throughout the day and throughout the season. Within this field of color, a grid of 60,000 points of light connected to a stream of Oklahoma City Data Portals trace weather patterns in realtime. Together, the suspended titanium and light structure creates an immersive visual experience, a digital simulacrum that parallels the complexity of the ongoing natural phenomena of the vast, changeable, majestic sky that is so much a part of this city.

The project, which began in March 2019 was fast tracked and completed in December 2020. Virtual Sky and other public arts projects result from the Art Ordinance adopted by the Oklahoma City Council in 2009 with one percent of the construction cost of any building, facility, trail or park built by the city funds public art.