The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) recently opened the doors of a brand new HQ in Washington DC. But it might be tough for visitors to tear themselves away from the foyer, which is home to the Global Data Chandelier—a pixelated fixture composed of 425 LED pendants arranged in the shape of a world map that glows in time with different data sets.

Art and tech studio Soso Limited proposed the concept a few years back, and teamed up with Hypersonic Engineering & Design, Plebian Design, and Chris Parlato to realize the anamorphic hanging sculpture.

Things get interesting when the lights go on—and off. The automated system is animated with info covering everything from GDP growth rate to energy consumption, processed with Python scripts and powered by an openFrameworks app. Only viewers standing directly below will get the full visual effect; any other angle will be pretty impossible to make out the full geography.

Even those taking in the whole thing won't necessarily be able to parse the stats, but it's a fascinating example of how tech can be smart, subtle, thought-provoking, and beautiful. [Creative Applications]