Graphic Jam

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A Meaningful and Vibrant Indigenous Art Installation in Edmonton Library

See the unique colour shifting effect of 3M Dichroic film and why it was chosen for PÎYÊSÎW WÂSKÂHIKAN (Thunderbird House) in Edmonton.

A Meaningful and Vibrant Indigenous Art Installation in Edmonton Library


PÎYÊSÎW WÂSKÂHIKAN (Thunderbird House) is a dedicated Indigenous space built for ceremony and gatherings within Edmonton's Stanley Milner Library.

The curved glass wall features an art installation by Joi T. Arcand. Carbon Graphics in Edmonton was proud to produce and install this vibrant piece using 3M Dichroic film. It showcases the name given to the space by Elders Jo-Ann and Jerry Saddleback.

The walls, ceiling, and floor are all made of white poplar, which is a significant tree to all Indigenous nations in the Edmonton area. Thunderbird House features a dedicated air circulation system that allows people to smudge without having to shut off the fire alarm system.

Naming the space

In Edmonton Public Library's interview with Elder Jo-Ann Saddleback, she says:

"...we named it PÎYÊSÎW WÂSKÂHIKAN... and it's Thunderbird House. Where that came from, we were thinking about colour. We were thinking about what allows us to reach out for things...".

"When he (Thunderbird) spreads his wings we are told, you can see the rainbow colours, he just shines rainbow colours when he spreads his feathers out like that... that wingspan."

The 3M Dichroic Glass Finish was the perfect choice to bring this vision to life and really represent the bold rainbow colours of Thunderbird. The dichroic film produces a colour shifting effect; the colours change based on the angle and amount of light as well as the angle of view.

The 3M Dichroic Chill pattern was installed on the interior side of the glass and the 3M Dichroic Blaze pattern on the exterior. The colour spectrum represented by the Blaze and Chill products are explained further below.

You can see the colour shifting effect in the videos and images below.

3M™ DICHROIC Glass Finishes 

3M Dichroic Films offer a creative way to bring unique, ever-changing colour to many interior and exterior glass building surfaces. The 3M Dichroic DF-PA Blaze film used on the exterior surface of Thunderbird House shifts colours in warm tones of cyan/blue/magenta and red/gold regions of the spectrum, while the 3M Dichroic DF-PA Chill film shifts colours in cool tones of blue/magenta/yellow and gold/blue regions. Chill was used on the interior glass surface of Thunderbird House.

3M™ Dichroic Film Specifications

  • A hard-coated surface layer helps resist scratching
  • Appears to change colour when viewed at various angles
  • Constructed from durable and flexible polyester materials
  • Non-metallic, non-conductive, non-corrosive
  • LEED points
3 M Dichroic Chill Film Stanley Milner Library Edmonton 3 M Dichroic Film Chill Edmonton Stanley Milner Library

Notice the different colours showing from different angles. As the light changes throughout the day, the room changes along with it. 

3 M Dichroic Blaze Film Stanley Milner Library Edmonton 3 M Blaze Dichroic Film Stanley Milner Library Edmonton

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