Posts tagged ‘Design’
April 10, 2013
Last night I had the privilege of visiting the New York City 9/11 Memorial site with the Designers’ Lighting Forum of New York (DLFNY) and the firm that designed the lighting for the memorial, Fisher Marantz Stone. This was my second visit, but my first time seeing the memorial after dark, and the experience was nothing short of awe-inspiring. I won’t go into the design behind the memorial, first, because it’s not my story to tell, and second, because it truly speaks for itself.
I will, however, share some of my photos from the visit, primarily for those of you that don’t live in New York and haven’t had a chance to see it in person. The progress that has been made at the site, and especially at One World Trade Center (center, below photo), is incredible. It is truly a place of peace, quiet, and reflection in the middle of one of the largest cities on the planet, and a fitting memorial to those who were lost on that day more than 11 years ago.
In honor of the arrival of Spring (at least according to the calendar, maybe not the thermometer), our office recently held a party for friends and family to debut an experimental installation we’ve been working on that immerses visitors in an ever-changing video environment.
As lighting and video become increasingly more intertwined in everything from theatrical design to architectural media facades to the mobile devices we carry around, this installation poses the question: what does it feel like to be immersed in an environment created entirely with video?
For this particular event, the video content was thematically related to Spring (flowers, nature, landscapes, etc.), but occasionally branched out into other areas such as panoramic cityscapes, abstract moving backgrounds, and projected architecture. I was responsible for finding and programming the video content using Dataton Watchout software.
The event, as expected, delivered many more questions than answers. For instance, it was fascinating to see the ebb and flow of guests in and out of the room as the “wallpaper” changed from static images to moving video; although, since we placed food in one room and drinks in the other, it was hard to tell if the movement of people was due to the video content or their need for liquid refreshment! Several of my coworkers and I tried to directly manipulate the movement of people by making the background of the room more, or less, attractive. While the results weren’t definitive it was certainly interesting to watch. Little did our guests know they would be subject to a sociological experiment at our party! (Insert villainous laugh here.)
A big thank you goes out to the friends and family who served as our “guinea pigs” for this trial event. We received a lot of helpful feedback, and we look forward to using what we’ve learned from this experience to continue to design beautiful and interesting environments. Here’s hoping our “Spring Fling” will bring some actual warm weather soon!
March 2, 2013
Architecture school critique sessions, or “crits” as they’re lovingly known — love ’em or hate ’em, they were always a learning experience . I found that there was something incredibly engaging and accessible about throwing all of your ideas and work up on a wall and having colleagues and mentors offer feedback. It was a win/win: the presenters got got to practice their presentation skills and received fresh insights into their work, and the critics got to practice verbally articulating their constructive criticisms. While nerve-wracking at times, I always came out of them with notebook pages full of interesting and exciting new ideas.
The challenge of crits wasn’t usually the presentation, though; it was the actual “critique” session, which, as the word implies, wasn’t meant to be a smile-and-a-pat-on-the-back affair. No, architecture school crits are notorious for making stressed, overtired, vulnerable students bawl uncontrollably by their conclusion. But that wasn’t the point. Not even close to it, actually. Read more
As a followup to my last post about Las Vegas and photographing a lighting design, here are some photos I took a few weeks ago of a project I just finished working on there: Social, a new whiskey-centric watering hole at the Palms Hotel and Casino, designed by Rockwell Group.
If you work in a creative or visual field, never underestimate the value of documenting your work as it’s happening. You never know if you’ll get a second chance.
I’ve never really had trouble with documentation before, because, as a theatrical lighting designer, I was always in the same room as my work, right down to the end of the project. I’d simply whip out my camera in tech rehearsal, setup my tripod, and take as many photos as I could fit on a memory card. Often, the set designer and costume designer would be right next to me doing the exact same thing. As an architectural lighting designer, I’ve learned, however, it isn’t always that easy.
Rooftop Theatre: Lincoln Center’s New Venue, The Claire Tow Theater, and the Opening Production of “Slowgirl”
June 10, 2012
Someone at Lincoln Center knows what they’re doing, and it makes me really happy.
A new theatre in Manhattan has just popped up in the most unlikely of places — on the roof of another theatre! And it’s not just any roof; it’s the roof of the Vivian Beaumont Theater at Lincoln Center, the home of the Lincoln Center Theater and the current production of War Horse, a building originally designed by Finnish-American architect Eero Saarinen in 1965. (You may recognize Eero Saarinen’s other prominent works of American architecture such as Washington-Dulles International Airport or the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Missouri.)
Designed by H3 Hardy Collaboration Architecture, the new Claire Tow Theater sits lightly atop the monumental Saarinen structure, just barely peeking over the thick concrete roof as it looks down onto the reflecting pool and plaza below. If you weren’t paying attention you’d almost miss it during the day, as its blue-green glass facade and low profile almost make it disappear into the sky vault above. At night, though, the structure glows with light, providing a trim illuminated “cap” to the Beaumont Theater below.
Hallways are usually pretty boring, lifeless places. Think about it: when was the last time you were in an “interesting” or “exciting” hallway? Their whole purpose is to take us from one room to another, so, unfortunately, they aren’t usually paid much attention by the people who design them or the people who walk through them.
But what would happen if a hallway were actually an interesting and exciting place to be? What if it were inviting and beautiful? What if it could react to your presence? What if it could appear different every time you entered it? What if it were a fun place to walk through? What if the hallway were the destination rather than the path to it?
Meet “Cloud,” our interactive light art installation featured at Boffo New York’s Show House on the Lower East Side this past month, which was designed with all of these questions in mind.
Watch this video, which I both edited and starred in (how’d that happen?), to see it in action!
I had a blast working on “Cloud” because it allowed us to challenge the stereotype of a typically boring architectural space and breathe a whole new life into it using light.
This kind of stuff really fascinates me. I’m interested in using light and architecture to create places that engage people both physically and mentally; that get people to notice and interact with their environment instead of merely passing through it. Part of that challenge is to break people’s expectations of reality — to surprise them, to get them to engage with and enjoy the moment, the space, and the people around them — which is getting harder and harder to do nowadays. But, based on all the positive feedback we’ve received about “Cloud,” we must be heading in the right direction!
Now, if only I could convince my landlord to put one of these in my building …
It’s getting cold outside, but architects Easton+Combs warmed our spirits over at Focus Lighting this week with their striking installation for the final Boffo pop-up shop of the season (featuring the fashions of Ohne Titel).
This is such a beautiful, well-executed space by Easton+Combs that, instead of summarizing our lighting design as I usually do, I’m going to let the work speak for itself. Sometimes I prefer to explore and appreciate things on my own, so I can allow my imagination to run free. The experience of this type of space can really have a different meaning for everyone, so I invite you to enjoy the photos on your own, to see where your imagination takes you.
As a follow-up to my last post about creating environments that bring people together, I’d like to share some photos from the recently-completed (and soon-to-open) Corkbuzz Wine Studio by SLDesign and Focus Lighting.
Corkbuzz was brought to us by owner and Master Sommelier, Laura Maniec, who sought a warm, inviting atmosphere in which to serve and entertain her guests. Her concept for Corkbuzz (located on 13th Street near Union Square), however, involves more than just entertaining at the street-front wine bar. Corkbuzz will also serve as a resource to the community by offering wine tastings and classes for beginners and experts alike in its unique flexible space equipped to handle anything from sit-down presentations to large social events. Finally, on top of it all, the “wine studio” will maintain an in-house inventory of nearly 2500 bottles from which to choose, most of which will be displayed for guests to see in a custom climate-controlled, glass-enclosed display room.
Are you excited!? We certainly are!
November 19, 2011
A few nights ago I had the good fortune to run across a good friend who I hadn’t seen since I left grad school almost six months ago. We quickly got to chatting about life updates, and I started filling him in on the details of my new job (which I started almost three months ago — how time flies). As I rattled on about new projects and learning experiences he stopped me and made an observation that, unexpectedly, hit me like a ton of bricks.
“You look really happy,” he said.
I paused. I hadn’t really thought about it lately. And then there was a moment of instant clarity, as if the clouds had parted and a ray of sunshine had suddenly burst through …
I realized: I am. I’m very happy.
Why am I so happy?
I’m happy because good lighting makes me happy.