Pillars of Thought
- Location: Scottsdale Public Library, Sottsdale, AZ (1994)
- Client: Scottsdale Cultural Council
- Size: 5 Columns 19’6″, projections 25′
- Material: Steel, concrete, glass, lighting, motors
- Budget: $150,000
- Photo Credits: Beckett Logan
Knowledge & Thought
Set in the main reading room of the Scottsdale Public Library, Pillars of Thought brings together architectural structures and light projections to explore the nature of thought using ancient and modern imagery. The structural brackets on five of the library’s columns are re-designed as giant heads to create a totemic sequence in the center of the library.
The heads face North, South, East and West. From each mouth projects an illuminated glass “breath”. Base plates on the columns are designed as upside-down “diving” heads, transforming the columns into living presences.
The totemic columns hold lights that project into clerestories. Projecting through mechanized mobiles, the lights create constantly changing shadow drawings that symbolize different ways of thinking: structured vs. random; focused vs. divergent; geometrical vs. informal. These thought patterns move and change slowly, incorporating light reflected from the outside through water and wind driven reflectors that catch the changing sunlight.
As library patrons sit reading in the seats below the Pillars, they can observe the subtle shifting of thought patterns by these large beings overhead without being distracted by them.