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THE HIGHLINE  |  Sensory Exhibition

The Highline’s landscape is designed with native plants, biodiversity, and self-sustaining ecosystems in mind. Audience research and site interviews showed that visitors care about the plant life, but don’t know much about it.


The Highline’s native plants are sustained by important pollinators, like bees, who are threatened by human activity. Sensory experience will deepen the connection between visitors and wildlife.

The Highline is loved by New Yorkers for its natural feeling and ever-changing landscape. However, often overlooked are the hidden worlds of insects integral to maintaining the Highline’s beloved ecosystem, thriving despite the crowds, traffic, and construction. Hive will bring forth what is often invisible to visitors through an installation of four observation beehives, providing a close-up of what is often unseen. Visitors will observe how bees interact within the hive, the beautiful, organic forms they create, and learn about pollination and how to support native plants.


The multi-sensory experience of visuals, sounds, and touch will facilitate a deeper connection between visitors and the creatures with which we coexist.


Entrance at 30th Street and 10th Avenue or from Highline

7am - 10pm


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The 4 species are chosen for their transportable hives, pollination of native plants, non-aggressive nature, and varied nesting habits

leafcutter bee


masked bee


eastern carpenter bee

xylocopa virginica

western honey bee


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NIGHT | Lighting Transitions

While bees can see UV light, their visible spectrum does not include red. 


Lighting inside is kept to red (650-750 nm) at night, outside the bees’ visible spectrum but within humans’ ability to seeFirefly lights slowly glow and fade independently. Linear LEDs graze vertical wall of bridge in varying shades of green, or switching to purple and blue, diminishing the reflected red light for visitors below the bridge. 

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EXPERIENCE | Extending throughout the Highline

Visitors mentioned in interviews a desire to know more about the plants. The experience continues throughout the Highline by connecting what visitors see at the Hive with the plants they see throughout their walk. 

With permission, visitors may receive beacons to point them towards areas of interest and evidence of wildlife: for example, they can identify pollinating plants, or discover the perfect circles left in leaves by leafcutter bees as they build their nests.


At the conclusion of the exhibition, bees can be moved to a green roof in the local area. Since bees may travel several miles in a given day, they can still pollinate the same plants despite relocation of their hive. 

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IDENTITY | Color, Type, and Graphics

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