0372 - The Wishing Whirl



The Wishing Whirl is modern day interactive wishing well. For centuries, wishing wells have been a place of calm and hope, where communities gather together. The technology emanating out of Silicon Valley has allowed communities and families to connect to each other all over the globe. The Wishing Whirl takes the form of an upward spiral representing this global connection originating from a single point and reaching outward to the rest of the world. The carefully orchestrated water and light features transform the sculpture into an iconic monumental symbol, uniting technology with the unique and graceful surrounding nature.


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The “Wishing Whirl” is an interactive modern day wishing well, and a monumental ode to the original San Jose Light Tower of 1881.

• The shape of the sculpture is an inverted spiral representing upward momentum which emanates from the technological center of the world. Known as the ‘golden spiral’ in geometry, the Fibonacci Curve is a where mathematics meets nature to describe the shape of infinite potential.

• The piece comes alive when people make wishes. At which point, S.E.S. (Safe Electrical Sparks) will travel upwards until reaching the zenith. At the end of the tube the light explodes outward like a shooting star into droplets of illuminated water that are then drawn up from the well below. This process is an echo of the natural phenomenon that occurs when water evaporates into the sky before being dropped by bursting clouds.

• Wishes can be made by standing on the various sensor points dotted around the basin (for 30 seconds, long enough to make a wish) or via an app. Each sensor point will ignite a different color star that shoots up from the center of the fountain.

• The shape of the basin is round with a whirl pool that spirals in same direction as the sculpture. Netting could be placed below to receive coins without damaging the pump’s components.

• S.E.S. and water pumps consume minimal power which will all be generated from solar panels situated above a nearby carpark.

• It will aim to be 144 feet t.b.d. (taken from the fibonacci sequence), built from 18 inch aluminum alloy-steel tube using recycled material. Snaking through the tube will be insulated conduits, housing both the electrics and the water.

The Wishing Whirl is aiming to literally shoot for the stars by becoming a monumental icon for Silicon Valley. It will have a magical presence and provide prayers of hope for a diverse public, making San Jose a destination of progress and positivity.