Downtown Denver groups using tech and art to change image of 16th Street Mall

Posted at 4:48 PM, Jul 23, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-23 21:48:36-04

DENVER -- Downtown Denver organizations are using art and technology to change the 16th Street Mall, whose image has been tarnished by a recent wave of reported assaults.

The Downtown Denver Partnership and Downtown Denver Business Improvement District put together the Downtown Denver Prototyping Festival, which ultimately allows visitors to interact with artwork along the busy street.

Brea Olson with Downtown Denver Partnership acknowledged the negative perception the mall might carry. She added, “the 16th Street Mall certainly has challenges because it’s so large, because it’s such a center of population.”

Now, the two downtown Denver groups want to put the power of change in your hands. The two organizations will study feedback and people's interactions with the nine installments.

Here’s a list of the nine installments and artists:


Sort Studio, Meredith Dale and Brian Dale

Aperture offers a contrast to the bustling environment of the 16th Street Mall by creating an inviting infrastructure for people to relax in an urban beach hut under a framed view of the ever-changing Colorado sky accented with dynamic patterns of light and shadow.


Fentress Architects, in association with Piedmont Plastics and Steel Storage Systems, Inc.

Iridescence brings giant plastic prisms (ranging from 3 to 6 feet tall) that reflect light to create rainbows, enhancing the sense of place as both a 3D piece of art as well as a unique seating area.

Mile High Mosaic

Emelia Jost, Worth Group Architects and Myka Works

Mile High Mosaic is a dynamic installation that explores the materiality, color and texture of “Colorful Colorado” by inviting visitors to touch and engage with screens constructed from wallcovering samples.


Shears Adkins Rockmore Architects

Peak1six invites visitors to explore the mountains in the heart of Downtown Denver, offering a uniquely visual experience that transports visitors to the mountains while immersed in the center city.



Pseudopod, inspired by the trumpet fungus mushroom, invites you to take a seat on this user-configurable bench that can be configured in hundreds of distinct iterations, and enjoy the unique lighting and joyful oddity it brings to the urban landscape.

Rainbow Street Seating

Nick Fish, Yong Huang, Tony Yue, AtelierHAY and WorthGroup

Rainbow Street Seating creates layered and abstract shaped seating that encourages interaction to transform pieces to create unique urban topographies that function as a street playground, a concert stage, a place to meet up and more.


Dig Studio, Ryan Sotirakis

Treeflexion! embraces the urban tree canopy of the 16th Street Mall by providing a unique space to linger, interact with others and “look up” to appreciate the essence trees bring to the Mall.

Urban Mall Diorama

META, Herb Kindsfater

Urban Mall Diorama Pass creates an environment of stillness and a platform to heighten awareness of the spatial experience.

Wheels Go Round

Kate Davis Studio

Wheels Go Round leverages spinning bicycle wheels to hear their distinct and unexpected sounds and an opportunity to stand and create a unique urban symphony.

The Prototyping Festival comes on the heels of the Meet the Street events. Since mid-June, the downtown groups echoed the same message of changing negative perceptions of 16th Street Mall each weekend with family-friendly activities. The Prototyping Festival will continue until July 31.


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