Friday, December 6, 2013

Illuminating Downtown San Jose

Several people have been asking what happened to the Illuminating Downtown San Jose project, which was supposed to bring four high-visibility projects to the area. One of these involves putting LED lighting and artwork underneath well trafficked overpasses that bisect Downtown (where Highway 87 crosses Santa Clara Street and San Fernando Street). Based on the December edition of SJ Economy News by the San Jose Office of Economic Development, it appears the initiative is alive and kicking!

In fact, more information has been revealed on future projects. The 2rd project will revamp the interactive light exhibit at The 88 with new light programs. The 3rd involves enhancing lighting at Axis to create a Downtown "beacon." Lastly, the 4th project is a public wayfinding program that will create an illuminated navigation system for pedestrians using embedded sensor networks (what?? color me curious on this one). Looking forward to see how these turn out, and if you haven't check out the new techie art sculpture outside the remodeled San Jose Convention Center, but sure to have a look next time you are in the area.


Through a $600,000 grant and numerous partnerships, San Jose Public Art Program has launched the Illuminating Downtown Project (IDP). IDP is a series of interactive lighting projects designed to enliven the downtown cityscape. Four projects are underway with the first illuminating the underside of Highway 87 at West Santa Clara and West San Fernando Streets.  The second project invites the community to contribute new light programs for a visual "jukebox" of Show Your Stripes, which is an interactive podium of light at The 88 at South 2nd.and East San Fernando. A third project is at the Axis on Santa Clara at Almaden where an enhanced lighting project will be placed on the  building to create a beacon to the downtown. The final project is a public wayfinding program that serves as an illuminated pedestrian-oriented navigation system incorporating data-mining, mobile computing, connectivity, lighting, and interaction using embedded and sensor networks. To learn more about the City's IDP projects, click here.  


  1. Very cool. I was wondering how this project was progressing. I'm curious about how AXIS will be illuminated as a 'beacon'....