Artist Nickolay Lamm visualizations of Wi-Fi in Washington DC make us pay attention to both invisible forces and the real world. Chances are you might use WiFi today and although the saying ‘out of sight, out of mind’ rings true in some many scenarios, perhaps none more so that with the invisible force of WiFi.
“We use Wi-Fi so many times a day but don’t really know how it works or the complexity of the technology,” says artist Nickolay Lamm, who decided to take on that ignorance by imagining what the National Mall in Washington D.C. would look like if we could see Wi-Fi signals. Lamm told Co.Design that he created the renderings purely to satisfy his own curiosity. But the spherical energy fields in his illustrations were designed with the help of M. Browning Vogel, an astrophysicist and former NASA employee.
To best approximate the looks and sizing of the signals, Lamm consulted a map of wireless coverage in the D.C. area, and extrapolated that information to imagine the waves in the third dimension. The results resemble long exposure light photography, or in some instances, mid-summer heat radiating off pavement (a phenomenon not unfamiliar in our nation’s sweltering capital this year).