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Seattle’s Renewable Flower Power; Solar-Powered Flower Installation Sonic Bloom

The Pacific Science Center commissioned solar-powered artwork to be placed at Seattle Center’s festival grounds. Seattle artist Dan Corson revives “flower power” with his installation. Seattle nighttime wanderers can now bask in giant, light-infused, colorful flowers absorbing solar energy in the day and nocturnally reflecting light through efficient LEDs. The solar glow and shadows of these giant flowers is playful with buoyant green energy. The flowers also sing!

dan corson solar powered flower installation sonic bloom

“the title ‘sonic bloom’ refers not only to its location ‘on the puget sound’ but also to the interactive singing flowers.” Caption Credit: Design Boom.
Image Credit: Dan Corson

solar powered flowers seattle

solar flower power seattle

Design Boom has more details:

… with support from the seattle city light’s green up program, which encourages the development of renewable energy systems, five giant solar flowers absorb the sun’s energy — reflecting it at night with patterned LED lighting. sensors located in each flower are triggered by people’s movement, as the 40’ high by 20’ wide super-sized flowers set off a chorus of interactive harmonic tones. each flower has its own distinctive set of notes, simulating a singing chorus. engaging the public it is possible to compose and conduct music together, or just by walking through to randomly set off a harmonic sequence. the interactive choral sound component works both day and night providing a dynamic and ever-changing sonic landscape”

Definitely a bright, artistically happy family of giant flowers. Sarah Laskow from Grist compares the green art event to a live Dr. Seuss experience. It seems to me that the experience might be Dr. Seuss meets ET. This is a giant example of truly fresh energy that causes no strain or compromise to our planet. Flowers collect the sun’s energy and feed it back. Collecting the moments of our life is easy with these bright flowers, to remind us of how truly easy energy can be.

Here are more technical details from Design Boom:

“mounted on the top of each painted flower head are 46 locally made photo voltaic cells that collect the energy from the sun and feed it back into the electrical grid. this sustainable feature completely offsets the energy-efficient LED lighting and speaker electrical consumption for the project. sporting frosted acrylic petals that glow like glass when back-lit, at nighttime the illuminated sculptures are awash in moving color and concentric echo-inspired patterns.”

Here are some more pics and tidbits about Dan Corson’s green-colored delight from Design Boom (images via Dan Corson, captions via Design Boom):

the striped stalks not only accentuate the curved stems, but are decipherable 'barcodes'

“the striped stalks not only accentuate the curved stems, but are decipherable ‘barcodes'”


“‘sonic bloom’ features frosted acrylic petals that glow like glass when backlit at night”


“an interactive sound component works both day and night, providing a dynamic and ever-changing sonic landscape”

sonic bloom solar flowers space needle

custom solar cells were created for the project, with an optimized size for viewing down from the space needle

“custom solar cells were created for the project, with an optimized size for viewing down from the space needle”

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Written By

Cynthia Shahan started writing after previously doing research and publishing work on natural birth practices. (Several unrelated publications) She is a licensed health care provider. She studied and practiced both Waldorf education, and Montessori education, mother of four unconditionally loving spirits, teachers, and environmentally conscious beings born with spiritual insights and ethics beyond this world. (She was able to advance more in this way led by her children.)


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