the hour glass

Julian Mathews

A persistence of vision LED sculpture meant to help visualize climate change statistics



I created a persistence of vision LED sculpture, that consists of two stacked globes, which is designed to be used as a statistics visualizer, in this case for climate change. The user will toggle through 10-12 statistics about climate change on a p5.js sketch, which will have a correlating visual on the sculpture. Shaped like an hour glass to symbolize the waning time we have left to solve this issue of climate change.


– A statistic about the extinction of bees will have the sculpture light up yellow & black.
– A statistic about how India has emerged as a global leader in renewable energy will correlate to the sculpture lighting up as the Indian flag.
– A statistic that shows sea levels in 1950 will light up 1/3 of the sculpture blue.
– The following statistic will show sea levels in 2019, which will light up 2/3 of the sculpture blue.

This is meant to be an awareness project. I thought to myself: how can I get people’s attention on a serious issue? My solution: a glowing ball of LED lights. This is ultimately meant to be an example of playful communication of (somewhat) serious research. A prototype and concept that I would love to expand one day. Ideally, this could be shown in a somewhat darkened room, but the lights work fine in light, thank you for your consideration.


Introduction to Physical Computing