Light-up Sidewalk Brick

Craft & Design



This weekend while walking down Mill Avenue in Tempe, AZ, I saw an interesting sight. The sidewalk is made of bricks, but one of them was glowing. Upon closer inspection, it appeared one brick had been removed and replaced with an acrylic box containing a light source, which was backlighting a drawing on the inside of the transparent acrylic. My curiosity got the better of me, and I pried the top off (which was caulked to the bricks around it) with my multi-tool. What I found was pretty neat: a thick top layer of clear acrylic protecting a vellum drawing, lighted with a single 5mm LED hooked up to a battery pack. The initials “BRT” and the date “10/07” were written on the inside of the box. Having opened the box and accidentally torn the drawing, I felt I should add something to indicate I meant well. I happened to have some LEDs and coincell batteries with me, so I taped up an extra light (the one already in the box was not very bright or diffused), and stuck it inside, then pressed the lid back on as securely as I could. I have no idea who made it, but I have a Flickr set – Link.

8 thoughts on “Light-up Sidewalk Brick

  1. Brianna_Mewborn says:

    This comment section keeps disappearing, but hopefully I can keep it around long enough to let you know that the link to the source is a mailto: instead of an actual functioning url.
    Other than that, I really like this find. I’m off to look at the Flickr set.

  2. Light-up Sidewalk Brick bekathwia says:

    Oops, thanks for catching that, I fixed it right up.

  3. SassyGinaD says:

    If I were the artist who created this brick I would not be very happy that someone altered my vision.
    And as far as this being in public domain, Jim, I live in NYC and often artists display their work in Central Park, or outside the many museums we have. All of these areas are considered public domain, but that doesn’t give you the right to take a can of spray paint and "improve" their art.
    I’m sorry you did this Becky, but I have a feeling you probably regret it yourself.
    And, for the person who approved your posting on craftzine, I think that decision was in poor taste.

  4. Oddsocks says:

    People are sure riled up about this topic. I understand why people might think the art should be left alone…..but what about the brick walk that was disturbed by the “artist” in the first place. People think that way okay? I think people who do public art should expect things to NOT be left alone. At least Becky did what she thought was a positive thing. The city may just come along and trash the whole thing…far worse than what Becky did.

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Becky Stern is a Content Creator at Autodesk/Instructables, and part time faculty at New York’s School of Visual Arts Products of Design grad program. Making and sharing are her two biggest passions, and she's created hundreds of free online DIY tutorials and videos, mostly about technology and its intersection with crafts. Find her @bekathwia on YouTube/Twitter/Instagram.

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