iScape - Gateways to Chinatown.
iScape is a monumental sculptural space at Canal Street Triangle in Manhattan, a symbolic landmark, and an iconic digital beacon for Chinatown. iScape is the first augmented landscape of New York City.
iScape is a composite of three triangles that emanates from the immediate physical context, but it also incorporates its history by articulating a symbolic nexus of Western and Eastern cultures within the American continent at the point of intersection of these cultures.
iScape is a balancing act between the rich cultural identity of the site and immersive digital technologies, lighting, and multidimensional design. This interactive sculptural space has two main parts: the podium and the lantern. The podium is inspired in part by one aspect of the current identity of the urban scape of Chinatown: a landscape of aggregates that grows organically with disparate materials, forms, and patterns combining to create its authentic street-scape. The lantern merges an archetype of Chinese culture and a symbolic digital portal to create the most visible element of the district’s iconic marker.
The podium is an aggregation of pre-cast architectural concrete modules with a pyramidal sculptural layout. The lantern is a triangular extrusion that hovers supported by an inverted pyramidal steel structure composed of three monumental arms anchored within the podium. The lanterns skin is a perforated metal envelope with a red interior face that hosts an augmented landscape. iScape is a Gateway to Chinatown, and also to the first
augmented landscape of New York.
iScape is a gateway that transcends the three dimensions, adding time and augmented reality to the equation. Time because it links present, past and future through symbolism and technology; and augmented reality, because iScape is a portal to an ever shifting virtual landscape. iScape is a threshold to a creative stratum of digital information layered over the real world, where the public can chose whether to interact or not. This virtual landscape hosted inside the lantern is constantly evolving, surprising both locals and
visitors alike. As in natural landscapes, it is a dynamic work, ever in progress. The interior of the lantern is imagined as a virtual canvas for artist and public to engage in a creative exercise of co-creation of public spaces.
Effectively, iScape is an interactive sculptural landscape, a meeting point for both locals and visitors to exchange their experiences. It is also a functional marker as it acts as a way-finding beacon where information about the adjacent neighborhoods can be accessed. Furthermore, iScape is an island of respite within the furious traffic of Canal Street, a physical and metaphorical green landmark on a key pedestrian node in lower Manhattan.
This extremely participatory, engaging, unique and technologically advanced sculptural space will act as the flagship for the 21st Century Chinatown. iScape offers a physical and virtual link to other gateways, within Chinatown and other parts of the world, by connecting them experientially and symbolically through simultaneously experienced augmented reality.