New downtown art installation changes with the weather

A narrow, elevated outdoor patio with seats and tables located between a glassy tower and a parking garage. The wall is covered with blue, white, and gray patterns that shift in shape and color.

Sensing Change as seen from the terrace at 151 N. Franklin. | Courtesy ESI Design

The display mimics falling rain, billowing clouds, and sunlight shining through branches

A blank wall on the side of Loop parking garage became a canvas for a new weather-inspired digital art installation. Dubbed Sensing Change, the 95-foot-long display comes from ESI Design and serves as the focal point of an outdoor terrace attached to the John Ronan-designed office tower at 151 N. Franklin.

The wall interprets real-time local weather data and translates it into colorful abstract light patterns mimicking falling rain, billowing clouds, or sunlight streaming through trees. Eventually, ivy will grow on vertical metal trellis and bars in front of the LED displays, blending digital and natural elements.

The outdoor terrace is open to members of the public, who enter through the lobby at 151 N. Franklin. Sensing Change is also visible from street level, the lobby below, and the office floors above—occupied by companies including CNA Financial and Facebook. The elevated space sits just above Francois Frankie, a recently opened French restaurant with a rotating carousel bar.

Sensing Change is the latest digital art installation to make its home in Chicago’s Loop. Recent additions include the 150 Media Stream LED wall inside 150 N. Riverside and Art on theMART, the world’s largest digital projection.

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