Biolumen by Radha Chaddah x RAW Design

Art and Science merge to illuminate Yonge-Dundas Square in Toronto

BIOLUMEN by Radha Chaddah x RAW Design

March 1 – April 1, 2024
Yonge-Dundas Square, Toronto

Yonge-Dundas Square is proud to present Biolumen by Toronto-based visual artist and scientist Radha Chaddah and architectural firm RAW Design from March 1 to April 1. Admission is FREE and the experience is open daily from noon to 10pm.

Biolumen by Radha Chaddah x RAW Design is an immersive experience with changing light, texture, and sound. The art installation features ten large luminescent structures where art, science, and nature merge. Inspired by deep-sea Radiolaria, “Biolumen” represents resilience and beauty in harsh environments.

Why You Need To See Biolumen, inspired by deep-sea Radiolaria

At night the sculptures become luminescent and glow from within and project colourful beams of light through their perforated skeletons, creating a dazzling display on the surrounding environment.

In the daytime, the differentially coloured inner and outer layers of the Radiolaria sculptures reveal a different way to experience sounds and sights of each of these sculptural creatures. Accompanying sounds are an original score that emit from within the sculptures. It is an ambient sonic landscape that evolves over time and with interaction.

Julian Sleath, General Manager of Yonge-Dundas Square shares, “With the dark and cold days of winter, we are thrilled to present this radiant and immersive art experience created by Torontonians to brighten up the winter season. Toronto residents and visitors will be enchanted and inspired by Biolumen by Radha Chaddah x RAW Design and we are excited to see how they interact with the installation.”

Biolumen, by Radha Chaddah x RAW Design – Mississauga, 2023 © Adam Pulicicchio

Who Is Radha Chaddah?

Radha Chaddah is a Toronto-based visual artist and scientist. Born in Owen Sound, Ontario, she studied Film and Art History at Queen’s University (BAH), and Human Biology at the University of Toronto, where she received a Master of Science in Cell and Molecular Neurobiology.

“As an artist who lives and works in Toronto, I’m excited to see Biolumen shown in my hometown at Yonge-Dundas Square,” says Radha Chaddah, Biolumen’s creator, visual artist and scientist. Reflecting on her artistic inspiration and intention with her work, Chaddah also shares, Biolumen was inspired by Radiolaria, which are tiny single celled animals. Their name means ‘small sunbeam.’ Ocean floors are thick with their astonishingly beautiful skeletons, made from silica. Radiolaria live symbiotically with algae who feed them with sugars they make from sunlight. Some Radiolaria are bioluminescent because of the bacteria that live within them. The visual and sonic harmonies created by this installation are a tribute to symbiosis, and the ideal of humans living in balance with nature.”

Who is RAW Design?

RAW Design is a Toronto-based architectural firm that works on a wide variety of scales and project types. From community greenhouses to large residential developments, not to mention outdoor interactive installations, its team of 60 architects and designers takes a collaborative, multidisciplinary approach. For Biolumen, the firm assembled a team of professionals from several fields (applied science, technology, art and architecture).

Suleman Khan, RAW Design intern architect, shares, “As designers, our goal is to create active public spaces that not only stimulate the senses but also inspire contemplation and appreciation for the delicate balance of nature. Biolumen provides a captivating peek into the interplay between Radiolaria and our environment. Through immersive design, we aim to evoke a sense of emotion, fostering a personal connection to the natural world.”

Biolumen, by Radha Chaddah x RAW Design, is a co-production of Quartier des Spectacles Partnership, the City of Mississauga and Culture Shawinigan, with distribution by QDSinternational.

Panel Discussion: Urban Illumination
March 7, 2024, 6 pm – 7:30 pm
SLC Auditorium, Toronto Metropolitan University

Get ready for a FREE talk with those who bring the vibrant lights, music, and art to urban centres, including the heart of Toronto. Join us on Thursday, March 7 at 6:00 PM at the Toronto Metropolitan University on Victoria Street to learn more about the transformative power of art and science in public spaces. Moderated by TMU Associate Professor Dave Colangelo and featuring panellist TMU architectural science student Sam Hardwicke-Brown, mirari’s creative director Gonzalo Soldi, and RAW Design intern architect Suleman Khan.

After the talk, make sure to immerse yourself in a magical atmosphere with the dazzling displays and interactive installations such as Biolumen at Yonge-Dundas Square and Downtown Yonge BIA’s Illuminite. Don’t miss out on this unique experience that celebrates creativity and community.

Register for the free Urban Illumination at

Biolumen, by Radha Chaddah x RAW Design – Toronto, 2024 © Jae Yang

Share the Experience

Visitors are encouraged to share their Biolumen by Radha Chaddah x RAW Design photo and video experiences on social media by tagging @ydsquare and #ydsbiolumen for a chance to be featured on Yonge-Dundas Square’s social channels and onsite digital screens.

To learn more about Biolumen, the artist and designers, please visit

Yonge-Dundas Square
1 Dundas Street East
Toronto, ON M5B 2R8 | 416.979.9960

Toronto Metropolitan University
SLC Auditorium
341 Yonge Street
Toronto, ON M5B 1S1

Yonge-Dundas Square and the Toronto Metropolitan University Amphitheatre are accessible.