The piece spans over 300 feet, subtly adding a natural element to the journey along the airport concourse.

"I have since been much impressed by the courtesy of nature, which thousands of years ago arranged a means by which we might come to notice these spots, and through them to discover things of greater consequence."
  - Galileo Galilei, 1613, referring to dappled light

Courtesy of Nature is an environmentally responsive light sculpture installed in San José International Airport's Terminal B. It evokes the natural feeling of dappled sunlight through trees, within the rectilinear forms of the airport concourse columns. Courtesy of Nature suggests a window into an alternate reality and poses a juxtaposition of nature and technology.


The piece spans a series of eleven large HVAC columns, a total distance of 330' along the concourse. Each of the panels inset into alcoves in these columns has the ability to be illuminated from behind, to create shadows on the surface that are evocative of dappled light.

The movement and timing of the patterns is made possible by independent control of nearly 2500 LEDs. The speed and quality of the motion effect created down the concourse varies from smooth, slow and infrequent waves of light to more rapid and turbulent events, simulating changes in cloud and wind conditions.

The piece engages at an intimate level as one walks down the concourse, inserting a natural pattern into the airport as a hint at San José's agricultural past. The light levels vary in a controlled manner across the extent of the piece, so all eleven columns work together to draw the eye down the concourse.

Artists:    Susan LK Gorbet, Matt Gorbet, and
                Banny Banerjee

Fabrication and design support:
                 Monkey Wrench Design

LEDs by Philips Lumileds.

Collection of the City of San José

©2010 Gorbet Design Inc. & Gorbet+Banerjee, LLC