Tag Archives: lighting

Future Creature Presentation

I presented my Future Creature concept to the Illuminations: Lighting class last week. The class is comprised mainly of Product Designers and Environmental Designers. I was able to get a lot of feedback about my project, and I also recruited a few people that offered to help with my thesis! Because this was a lighting class, we focused a lot on how the object could serve other purposes. We also discussed other observations about the behaviors of the object.

Here’s some of the feedback:
– It’s really entertaining and considerations should be made to turn it into a product.
– Color and math games can easily be attached to this object.
– The object seems alive. The smaller light balls seem to have a personality when they roll around together.
– A good starting point to evoke imagination and storytelling (YES! This is what I wanted to hear!)
– Consider other materials – i.e. what if it was softer, what if the outer capsule was made of silicon, what other colors could be used, etc.
– What would it be like if the balls were different sizes too?
– People liked the sound of the clicking tilt switches – it sounded like a very low level of communication between the balls

After the presentations were over, I went home and took some photos of the object in the dark. Enjoy!






Speculation through Questioning

So what do I do with all the experiments and research I’ve done so far? What would be the purpose of these things and how might mini projects transform into something more substantial and meaningful?

Question Set I: 
Perhaps the idea is to create an organic shaped interface. We are so used to flat screen-based interfaces (i.e. televisions and computers), but how can information work on a different surface? How would the shape of that surface compliment the content on it? What if the information triggered a change in the shape of the interface, allowing one to better understand the meaning and mood of the content? What if the interface grew smaller or larger over the course of a day to reflect the amount of data being collected by it?

Question Set 2:
Perhaps it’s less about form, and more about light and movement. What if the light could sense your presence in the room and would react through biofeedback? – Would these lights react to sound levels? Body heat? Heartbeat?… .What if you came into a room and the lights were projecting a certain pattern? Would that indicate the type or number of people who were present before you that day? What if the colors of those lights represented a persons mood or an aura of a person who previously visited the space? 

Question Set 3: 
If this project is about lighting, then perhaps the light reacts to the natural environment around it. How would the light patterns and colors change? Would these lights move with the sun and moon as if they were dependent on these two things for its survival? Would pollution or noise data be interpreted through light patterns? How would this be meaningful? For example, if there was a high level of pollutants in the air, would the lights turn an alarming color? Would they move rapidly to heighten one’s sense of awareness? How would a person or group of people be able to change the mood of the lights?

Question Set 4:
Perhaps there are several scales to this project at a micro and macro level. What if there was an object that you could carry with you – i.e. a locket or some type of small token of attachment. Imagine being able to carry a firefly in that locket that was essentially your pet.  What if it was a magical firefly that could sense your mood or health and would change color or change light patterns to help you be more aware of your inner self? Could you take that locket somewhere and release that firefly? Where would that firefly go? – To a field of other fireflies? To a place to recharge? To a place to store the information it collected from you? What if the firefly could show you a space where it has collected your information in an accumulated way? Would this allow you to see yourself in a different way? Would it cause you to self reflect?

Acrylic/Light Experiments

I created a 32″ interface out of sandblasted acrylic and decided to project light animations on it today. I wanted to see how light interacts with an uneven surface and was hoping this would point me in a positive direction.

The idea for the surface was inspired by a previous paper exploration.

There were some interesting observations made during this experiment: I saw how shadows could play a role both near the object and further away from the object. I also observed the quality and style of the light animations and how they complemented the form.

Though I have been exploring with form, I feel that this project will eventually move away from form and focus primarily on light – both artificial and natural.

Here is some of the video documentation I collected for this experiment:

Project II: Iterate


Over the course of this next month, I will begin an exploration of materials and light. After last weeks experiment with vellum (see Paper Exploration posting), I decided that I would like to continue to focus on space, particularly corners and ceilings…nooks. 

As I create these iterations over the next few weeks, I plan to reflect on how two bigger themes also play into the designs: storytelling and spirituality. These are two main themes that have been of interest to me during my time in the Media Design Program (and prior).

My plan is to use different materials each week to create these iterations – paper, fabric, reflective materials, etc. Backlighting, LED’s and projections may also be incorporated into the making process. Photography will also play an important role, as it did with the first paper exploration. 

Tentative Project Schedule (we are currently in Week 7 of the Spring Term):
Week 7-8:
. exploration using paper 
. contact PadLAb/CMTEL lab 
. begin collecting inspiration images

Week 8-9:
. explore reflective, iridescent materials 
. Griffith Observatory
. continue inspiration collection

Week 9-10:
. exploration using fabric or other suggest material
. continue inspiration collection

Week 10-11:
. test explorations with lighting and projections (or animated lighted patterns)
. complete final explorations
. prepare in-class presentation

Week 11-12:
. complete any further explorations
. prepare final thesis review presentation

Week 12:
. Thesis Review

Light and Space 2


I did another image exploration of light and space tonight and looked for more specific images that related to the idea of  nature, the infinite and the beyond. I referred to works by architects like Tadao Ando, Jean Nouvel and designers like James Turrell for inspiration. In the coming weeks, I plan to explore this part of my thesis further through making 3D mock ups and playing with a combination of artificial and natural light.

Light and Space


How can we use existing spaces as an interface? Blank walls, corners, domes, empty courtyards, ceilings…what affordances can these often underutilized spaces provide us? I did a quick exploration of how light has been used particularly in spaces above us and collected a few images. I’ve been interested in how we can utilize lighting and spaces above, and have been thinking about how this can evoke emotion, contemplation, a sense of privacy or even a sense of communion.