For the artwork, called Portaurora, changes colour and plays different sounds every time it is approached.
Designed by Sticky Co, a Portland and Amsterdam-based artist team, the new, fun addition to the Oregon gateway is located in Concourse D.
Taking inspiration from the aurora borealis, Sticky Co used custom software and electronics, LEDs, and IR sensors to create Portaurora, which welcomes each traveller by making their presence an essential part of the dynamically changing artwork.
“Although this is mostly a technology-driven project, we added a simple element – applying glitter to the ceiling – to enhance the aurora effect,” says Andrew Haddock, who leads the Sticky Co team.
“We wanted passengers to experience a bit of a surprise as they pass through the space. One of the pleasures of creating a piece like this is getting to see the delight of strangers as they interact with it.”
As a new permanent installation, Portaurora joins other signature features that the airport believes makes it a firm favourite with travellers.
“We want the experience travellers have within the airport to reflect what's special about our city and our region,” says Wendy Given, art co-ordinator for Port of Portland.
Travel + Leisure has ranked PDX the best airport in the US for six years in a row. The airport has won similar top awards from Condé Nast Traveler, JD Powers and Associates, and the Airline Pilots Association, International.