JAMIE WIRKLER

DESIGN STRATEGIST

jamie

Trained as an architect, I have a detailed knowledge of the built environment and how it impacts our overall well-being. I'm always thinking about creative ways to incorporate emerging technologies which yield positive social and cognitive results. My intimate understanding of a wide range of materials is core to the way I approach design challenges and at the forefront of each project we take-on at Dispersion.

Prior to founding Dispersion, I designed 21st century outdoor learning environments and interactive public art alongside some of today's top innovators. I helped design and build large-scale, interactive, public art with Jen Lewin Studio. Our projects ranged from 50ft. long laser harps in Minneapolis, to playground equipment in Singapore. Previous to that I helped establish a nation-wide network of outdoor classrooms with Kimbal Musk's, The Kitchen Community. From the second Learning Garden to the 200th, I managed the product offering, classroom design, manufacturing and distribution to some of the largest school districts in the nation. 

When I'm not lighting up the world with Dispersion, I'm can be found lighting up the world with my wife, son, and dachshund. You can likely find us adventuring in the mountains, on the river, or road tripping to the desert for a long weekend.  

REPRESENTATIVE PROJECTS

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EMANCIPATION PARK MONUMENTS

HOUSTON, TX | 2017

Fabrication by Demiurge Design

Illumination by Dispersion

Dispersion designed, prototyped, and fabricated a custom integrated LED illumination system within four stainless steel monument sculptures flanking the corners of the new Emancipation Park in Houston, Texas.  We iterated on several different designs to achieve consistent light distribution, appropriate color temperature, and a robust system for transport and installation in Texas.

 
 The Pool by artist Jen Lewin, photo by Aaron Rogosin

The Pool by artist Jen Lewin, photo by Aaron Rogosin

THE POOL BY JEN LEWIN

TEMPORARY INTERACTIVE SCULPTURE, EXHIBITED WORLDWIDE SINCE 2008

Concept, Engineering, and Design by Jen Lewin Studio

Engineering by Dan Julio Designs

The Pool is a prolific interactive sculptural installation with over 10,000 embedded LEDs. The piece has traveled to over 40 locations worldwide including Singapore, Sydney, Istanbul, Montreal, Prague, Lisbon, Abu Dhabi, and many domestic cities.  I've contributed to The Pool's evolution in many capacities during both my early and recent tenures with Jen Lewin Studio.  During in the initial design and development of the piece beginning in 2008, I worked side-by-side with Jen Lewin and provided integral engineering of the control and communication systems.  More recently, in 2015 and 2016, I came back to an evolved, robust, and time-tested system.  I traveled with the piece to art and light festivals in several major cities and further facilitated improvements to the piece's underlying systems.

 
 Mini Pool by artist Jen Lewin, photo courtesy of PlayPoint Asia Ltd.

Mini Pool by artist Jen Lewin, photo courtesy of PlayPoint Asia Ltd.

MINI POOL BY JEN LEWIN

SINGAPORE | 2015

Concept, Engineering, and Design by Jen Lewin Studio

Engineering by Dan Julio Designs

After experiencing a temporary exhibit of The Pool at the iLight Festival in Singapore, executives of PlayPoint Asia commissioned a smaller, permanent version for the new Yishun Ring Road Park in the island's neighborhood of Yishun.  The consistent heat and humidity of Singapore's climate required a robust system, and The Pool's technology fit the bill.  Working directly with the playground's design team, Jen Lewin Studio ensured adequate drainage and other protections were in place to protect the electronics.  After a modest redesign of The Pool's structural elements to adapt to a permanent site, Jamie and I traveled to Yishun to oversee installation alongside a diverse team of local Singaporeans.

WITH LIBERTY AND JUSTICE FOR ALL

BY JIM HODGES

AUSTIN, TEXAS | 2016

Dynamic Light Design and Installation by Jen Lewin Studio

Fabrication by Demiurge Design

Demiurge Design enlisted Jen Lewin Studio to integrate a wirelessly-connected system of pixel-controlled LEDs into an existing piece by Jim Hodges.  This project involved several prototypes to determine an LED form factor and mounting schema that fully captured the visual effects of the piece's dichroic-backed acrylic faces.  Jen Lewin Studio LED controllers drive varied lengths of LED strip within each letter housed within custom enclosures.  Power and data are routed via a complex system of customized weatherproof cabling and connectors.

 
 Sidewalk Harp by artist Jen Lewin, photo courtesy of Jen Lewin Studio

Sidewalk Harp by artist Jen Lewin, photo courtesy of Jen Lewin Studio

SIDEWALK HARP BY JEN LEWIN

MINNEAPOLIS, MN | 2015

Concept, Engineering, and Design by Jen Lewin Studio

Engineering by Dan Julio Designs

Fabrication by Demiurge Design

The Sidewalk Harp is a permanent interactive public sculpture at the Be The Match Foundation headquarters in Minneapolis, MN.  The piece is exhibited alongside a busy downtown sidewalk adjacent to Target Field Station.  I worked within challenging physical constraints to develop a reliable data and power system to capture human interaction that elicits responses of light and sound.  Sensors collect data from participants and channel it to a central device nearly 50-feet away in a control room.  That central device relays signals to a powerful audio system and 36 ring-shaped arrays of pixel-controlled LEDs.

 
 Magical Harp by artist Jen Lewin, photo courtesy of Jen Lewin Studio

Magical Harp by artist Jen Lewin, photo courtesy of Jen Lewin Studio

MAGICAL HARP BY JEN LEWIN

PALO ALTO, CALIFORNIA | 2015

Concept, Engineering, and Design by Jen Lewin Studio

Engineering by Dan Julio Designs

Fabrication by Demiurge Design

The Magical Bridge Playground is an "inclusive" playground built to be accessible to children of any ability level.  The park has ramp-accessed tree houses, swings that can connect to a wheelchair, and what I like to think is everyone's favorite feature: The Magical Harp.  Triggered by human interaction, the harp plays a variety of beautifully-curated sounds that fill the park and provide a unique experience for everyone.  I led the development of the harp's control system, audio system, and power and data wiring schema, and worked alongside Jamie Wirkler and Jen Lewin to install and tune the piece in Palo Alto.