Last week's big news in theoretical physics--researchers at the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) detected actual space-time ripples, or gravitational waves--was a bonus for Lee H. Skolnick Architecture + Design Partnership (New York), which collaborated with LIGO in 2009 on a traveling exhibit exploring the topic.
Big crowds were expected this weekend in Livingston, Louisiana, home of the LIGO Science Center, where the exhibit resides. Entitled "Astronomy's New Messengers," it features an actual interferometer--the device that helped achieve this breakthrough. The Skolnick team also created interactives that help visitors break down the concepts of gravity and space/time ripples. "Our design of the undulating architectural enclosure and graphics of wave forms and ripples was inspired by the content provided by the LIGO scientists with whom we collaborated," says Lee Skolnick, FAIA. The centerpiece interferometer is situated beneath a light sculpture custom-designed for the project by Leni Schwendinger Light Projects. See more of the project on the LHSA+DP website.