Barcode Luminescence by Mikyoung Kim Design



Massachusetts landscape architects Mikyoung Kim Design have completed a series of lanterns in front of the Ocean County Public Library at Toms River, New Jersey, USA.


The laser-cut stainless steel and glass lanterns feature barcode patterns to represent the transmission of information in the digital age.


Here's some info from the architects:


Brookline, MA

Ocean County Public Library
Toms River, New Jersey

Concept: Barcode Luminescence


A series of five lanterns mark the entry to the Ocean County Public Library. Wrapped in stainless steel and luminescent glass, the barcode patterns of these lanterns represent the transmission of data and pathways of information. The sculptural installation is integrated with the landscape architecture, presenting a dynamic and engaging courtyard with a paving pattern that reflects the relationship between the library and the broader community.


In its ninety year history, the nationally recognized library has been both a brick and mortar institution and a traveling library, ensuring the intellectual livelihood of the diverse residents of Ocean County. In its contemporary form, the library embraces new technologies and continues to bring knowledge to its patrons, through digital information as well as through traditional avenues. The illuminated sculptures at Ocean County draw together past and present, recognizing the well-traveled paths of the mobile institution while reflecting the informational patterns of a library in a digital age.


Viewed from different angles, the light when transmitted through layers of dichroic glass emit a shifting array of colors. Encased in laser-cut steel, the lanterns both reflect light and glow from within, changing appearance from day to night. A darkened stainless steel ribbon entwined around each sculpture leads the eye to the center of the lantern and its light, just as the configuration of the sculptures guides visitors to the front entry of the library.

With its open relationship to the street, the entry courtyard draws patrons to the library with a dynamic linear paving pattern that emphasizes a continual sense of movement. Against the night sky, the lanterns represent a brightly lit landmark within the town, lighting the way to this central institution. Over time, the illuminated sculptures will continue to delight, inspire and engage visitors across generations.

Photography credit: Marc La Rosa

Posted on Monday March 23rd 2009 at 9:03 pm by . Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • wow great design

  • Whether or not the ‘bar code’ symbolism is understood (I certainly don’t think of a bar code without the idea being suggested first), the way the lanterns serve to create an new and dynamic outdoor space is awesome. Such a small and simple gesture for great results.

  • Wybie

    im undecided

  • mahrous


  • I thought the barcodes are over by now… But ok, since every book has them. I wonder why didn’t go with ‘the book’ instead of ‘the barcode’


  • Matt

    Great to see landscape design represented

  • This is beautiful ……….. Jeremiah, your comments were spot on!