Loop Chicago

Lightscape: A Multisensory Experience on State Street


Lightscape: A Multisensory Experience on State Street is a one-of-a-kind light and sound installation that creates vivid patterns of color, choreographed to music, along State Street.

Unveiled in November of 2011 by Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Lightscape is located in eighteen planters—each comprised of dozens of LED lights—between Lake and Van Buren streets. From 10 am to 8 pm each day, the installation’s embedded speakers broadcast musical selections and special announcements, as lights change patterns in synchronization with songs.

Chicago Loop Alliance selected the region’s most experienced landscape and lighting design team to collaborate on the installation. Chicago-based Site Design Group, an award-winning landscape architecture firm, was responsible for the overall design concept, which recalls native prairie grasses. Based in New Berlin, Wisconsin, Creative Lighting Design & Engineering, whose previous work included the popular Milwaukee Domes project, executed the innovative light and sound choreography.

Lightscape is funded by State Street Special Service Area #1 with the goal of attracting attention and buzz for Chicago and the Loop. Additionally, by using low-energy LED lights in place of costly temporary holiday lighting displays, Lightscape advances Chicago’s standing as a leader in smart energy use.