Virtual Sky wins international design award

OKC Convention Center’s Virtual Sky wins architecture design award

OKLAHOMA CITY – Virtual Sky, the suspended LED light sculpture that spans the two large atriums at the Oklahoma City Convention Center, won top honors in the 2022 Global Architecture and Interior Design Competition recently.

The sculpture designed by Narduli Studios was the winner in the Interior Design Elements (Built) Category. Virtual Sky is conceived as a synergy of fixed and fluid elements, a layering of form and light to capture moments in real-time beauty and changeability of the Oklahoma Sky re-conceptualized through technology.

Docomomo International is in its 11th year behind the awards the 10th Edition which challenge arts to “Rethinking the Future.” The awards honor interior designers who are trendsetters, the pioneers, and the leaders – who inspire by their continuous innovation and excellence and bring their best projects into the light to inspire the next generation of designers..

Susan Narduli, a Los Angeles-based artist and architect who has designed pieces across the country that push the intersection of art, media, technology, and architecture, was the project lead with support from 5Ten Visuals, Developer Tommy Etkin and OKC Arts.

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.