The Randy Pausch Memorial Bridge
is a perfect metaphor for the educator who so successfully blurred of boundaries of conventional thinking and inspired beyond-the-box thinking.
The 230-foot-long bridge connects the educational buildings for science (Gates and Hillman) with art (Purnell) on CMU's campus in celebration of the collaborative spirit of the late professor, who died in 2008 of pancreatic cancer. In keeping with his legacy, the designers of the bridge always hoped to take the bridge--with its abstract penguin cutouts in honor of those brave enough to take the plunge into uncharted waters--beyond a mere work of art.
Initially, the Pausch Bridge was lit with 7,000 colorful, programmable LED lights. Designed by husband and wife professors Cindy Limauro and Christopher Popowich, the lights honor "The Last Lecture," the life-affirming book that won Pausch worldwide fame.
"It was always our intention to have students create light shows on the bridge," explains Limauro, a professor of lighting design in the School of Drama. "We wanted to offer a course that would bring students together across disciplines to create light shows for the bridge."
With the help of a grant through Intel and the collaboration of several departments at CMU, four teams of students have designed five high-tech light shows that will keep the bridge glowing for the foreseeable future. The fence of light will run at various times during the day from dusk to dawn.
"You can tweet the bridge and interact with it," Limauro says. "It absolutely has a life of its own as a work of art."
The student created light shows, which are still a work in progress, are entitled Fusion, TwitterBridge, A Day in the Life, Time in Motion and One Sort or Another. Each show is unique, offering a visual and visceral message that honors Pausch.
Source: Cindy Limauro, CMU
Image courtesy of CMU