The Festival of Bridges in Pittsburgh
We have chosen the city of Pittsburgh and its characteristic bridges as the setup of our experience.
Bridges are a powerful symbol - they eradicate isolation, they enable connections and they foster
communication. Whether they be tangible bridges that connect lands together or the intangible ones
that exist between people, bridges bring humans together. The experience that we have designed
aims to capture this magic of the bridges and there is no better place for that other than Pittsburgh –
The City of Bridges.
Pittsburgh has long been a place for dwellers of the city. Now we want to share this experience with
the rest of the world. For this very reason we chose to reimagine the city of Pittsburgh and invite
everyone from all over the world to see, hear, taste and experience what it feels like to be connected.
The Pittsburgh Festival Of Bridges is spread across the bridges on the three rivers. Each bridge is
given a theme based on unique aspects of this city – Andrew Carnegie's work in building America and
cultural centers throughout Pittsburgh, Andy Warhol's massive influence in shaping pop culture, the
rich sports tradition of this city and so on. As people explore these bridges, they are unaware that they
are in fact creating a new bridge together. The surprise is revealed to them in the end...
Story behind the design
Pittsburgh is a city of bridges. Bridges connect lands – separated by water and air – and allow us to explore
and experience what has been unseen. In effect, bridges connect people who come and go, and these are
the people who make this city and world a better place to live. The Randy Pausch bridge at Carnegie Mellon
University, for example, is more than just a bridge. In the morning, it looks like a regular bridge connecting
two departments of the university. However, it's magic is revealed at night as it lights up and reveals a
hidden connection between the Science and the Arts department. Today, CMU has become the go-to place
for technology and arts, and its influence – ranging from Hollywood films to many creations that landed in
Disney theme parks – far reaches millions of people around the world. We were amazed by this discovery. In
fact, the four of us come from different parts of the world and we realized the untapped potential of the
Pittsburgh bridges – what if we used the bridges across the river to celebrate Pittsburgh, bring together the
diverse population of this city and reveal hidden connections between people?
Bridges across the rivers of Pittsburgh will be themed on unique facets of the city. The History bridge will tell
the story of initial settlers from Europe and Andrew Carnegie's role in building America. This bridge will have
actors enacting moments from Carnegie's life, food from different cultures and immersive railroad
experiences. The Arts bridge will showcase Andy Warhol's work and have interactive playgrounds for people
to create their own artwork. Similarly, the sports bridge will be converted into a mini stadium with signings by
popular sports stars, tailgate style barbecue setups and innovative multiplayer games.
While people explore these bridges, they are unaware that their movements are being tracked. When the
night falls, all activity on the bridges stop. A screen of water shoots up in the middle of the river. A projection
is shot on it of people walking on the bridges throughout the day and streaks of light emanating from their
feet. From the blurred streaks of light, a resplendent bridge of light emerges in the middle of the river. It is
finally revealed that the purpose of getting everyone on these bridges was to build a bridge - a bridge
connecting and celebrating the diversity of Pittsburgh.
The big reveal
When the night falls, all activity on the bridges stop. A screen of water shoots up from the river and a projection is displayed on it. It’s it finally revealed that the purpose of getting people here was to build a bridge and
reveal connections between people.