Monthly Archives: March 2013

Seattle Museum’s Massive LED Mirror Transforms With Regional Data

Doug Aitken’s newest art installation is as big as the building on which it suitably resides.

The Seattle Art Museum will have a permanent change starting this weekend when Aitken reveals his giant LED and glass display called Mirror, which displays continuously changing images to match the surroundings of the museum. Commissioned by the late philanthropist Bagley Wright in 2011, Mirror acts as a living museum outside the Seattle institution, using an enormous collection of moving images captured by Aitken to reflect local life.

Mirror is constructed with one huge glass-covered horizontal band that spans 12 stories of the museum’s northern and western exterior walls, displaying ever-changing images and columns of light that run up and down its façade. Responsive editing software lies at its heart, recognizing surrounding conditions such weather information, traffic density and atmospheric data, and rendering them as images based on timing, composition, camera movement and subject. The images come from hundreds of hours of footage Aitken filmed throughout Seattle, Washington State and around the museum itself. As the building “senses” change in the environment, the screen changes, and because the environment outside the museum will never be truly the same twice, neither will the images on Mirror.

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Written by: Valentina Palladino

Source: Wired Design

Abhay Wadhwa to Present on Contextualizing Light for the New York Chapter of the National Organization of Minority Architects

When: Thursday April 18, 2013 6:30PM-8:30PM. Lecture begins at 7:00

Where: Mohawk Showroom, 71 W. 23rd St. 18th Floor, New York NY 10010

Event is free with RSVP until April 8th. After April 8th admission is $10.00

RSVP: email

Click here to view the page on the nycobaNOMA page

A Tribute for Turning Light Into Art: James Turrell

“Light is this thing we usually use to illuminate other things,” said the artist James Turrell, who first considered the presence of a beam of light cast from a slide projector during art history class at Pomona College in the early 1960s. “I’m interested that light has thingness itself, so it’s not something that reveals something about other things you’re looking at, but it becomes a revelation in itself.”

After graduating in 1965 with a degree in perceptual psychology and concentrated studies in art, math and astronomy, Mr. Turrell created his first light projection — what appears to be a solid cube of light floating in the corner of a darkened room that then dissolves into immateriality as you approach it. The work was included in Mr. Turrell’s solo museum exhibition at the Pasadena Art Museum in California in 1967, which later that year also showed experimental light works by Robert Irwin and Doug Wheeler, beginning what came to be called the Light and Space Movement in Los Angeles.

“Turrell was the first artist who really stated unequivocally that you can liberate light from its source and make it the artwork,” said Alison de Lima Greene, curator of contemporary art at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Her museum is joining with the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Guggenheim Museum in New York in coordinated, successive Turrell exhibitions beginning in May, offering an unusual opportunity to experience his immersive light environments that allow viewers to “see ourselves see,” as he puts it

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Written by: Hilarie M Sheets

Source: New York Times

Representative Overview of Dan Flavin’s Light Works on View for the First Time in Switzerland

US artist Dan Flavin (1933–1996) is considered to be one of the most important representatives of minimalist art in the world, and a pioneer of light art. He started working with commercially available fluorescent tubes in standardised dimensions and colours in the early 1960s, creating a distinctive oeuvre, altering spaces and perception in equal measure, and generating striking light and colour spaces.

The Dan Flavin – Lights exhibition at the Kunstmuseum St. Gallen museum of art provides a representative overview of Flavin’s light works for the first time in Switzerland. Containing around thirty works, the exhibition explains the artist’s development from painting to creating light works based on selected situations (1961–1964). It spans the range from his key individual works created with fluorescent tubes up to the more recent large-scale works.

As a result of his radical decision to use an everyday industrial product, Flavin’s art combines the precisely calculated use of the medium with the daring, sensuous emission of light. With his choice of light tubes as both motif and material for his work, Flavin on one hand indicates the convergence of art with the everyday consumer world. On the other hand, his presentation follows the principles of minimalist austerity, but manages at the same time to outshine these using colours, and to create light spaces of an incomparable sensuous quality.

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LEDs mimic natural light patterns- Drexel University

Drexel University biomedical engineering professor Don McEachron and architecture and interior design professor Eugenia Ellis are developing an LED light fixture that mimics the natural progression of the sun throughout a day. Their plan is to install the fixtures in health care facilities where light will help maintain natural rhythms within the body and ultimately improve the health of residents.

The 2-square-foot fixture will first be tested in St. Francis Country House, a senior living facility in Delaware County, Pa., where it will be placed in corridors and communal dining rooms.

The problem with artificial lighting currently used in care facilities is that it does not cater to natural circadian rhythms of its patients, especially aging ones. Just like any bodily function or process, the circadian rhythm weakens with age. McEachron, research professor and coordinator for academic assessment and quality improvement in the School of Biomedical Engineering, Science and Health Systems, said, “We put [patients] in an environment with virtually no light-dark cycle, thus increasing the chances that their rhythms will become erratic or desynchronized. If we wanted to decrease the quality of their lives, both physiologically and psychologically, we have certainly created the right environment to do it. However, the goal is to improve the residents’ or patients’ lives, not make those lives worse. Human ancestors evolved in an environment with a strong light and dark cycle — it is what the circadian system evolved to expect. While we cannot take aging individuals and put them outdoors in order to expose them to the solar cycle, we can use technology to bring the solar day inside.”

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Written by: Devon Harman

Source: The Drexel Triangle

The Technology that Could ‘Revolutionise’ How We Light the World

Kick-started by the invention of the light bulb, the way we illuminate our homes and our lives is ever-changing – particularly in a world where the challenge is to light more, but to consume less energy.
But Mark Major, one of the world’s leading lighting designers, believes we’re at the early stages of a lighting revolution.

“Changing technology makes me feel very clearly that this is as much of a revolution going on now as perhaps when gas went out and electric lighting came in,” he says.

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Written by: Dave Lee

Source: BBC News

Volkswagen Factory in Wolfsburgh Germany is Transformed by a Projected Light Show

From the barren industrial to a luscious landscape of light and sound. From bricks and steel to life and beauty and art. These are the movements, the evolutions we pursue at seeper – taking human life at its most stark and functional, and igniting it with creativity and passion.

The scene was the original Volkswagen factory in Wolfsburgh, Germany. As part of the Autostadt 10 year anniversary celebrations, we took this massive 150 metre urban canvas and turned it into a visually engaging audio visual narrative: moving through evolution, expression, emotion, ease, essence and excitement, communicating the history, values and process of VAG and the Autostadt.

Click here to watch the video

Source: Vimeo

With Better Software, Office Buildings Can Cut Energy Use by 30 Percent: A Techwise Conversation with Mike Zimmerman

In the recent U.S. presidential State of the Union address, there were few surprises when it came to energy policy, including its ringing endorsement of conservation. One of the easiest ways to conserve ought to be more efficient use of the energy it takes to heat and light office buildings. After all, they already have control systems for their heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning.

And yet, while a lot has been done to make new buildings highly efficient with new control systems, there’s been, to date, very little effort to help existing control systems in existing buildings wring out the waste. Unsurprisingly, this represents quite an opportunity for clever start-ups, one that the market is now starting to fill.

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Interview by: Steven Cherry

Source: IEEE Spectrum

3D printing revolution: Rethinking form

3D printing has already changed the game for manufacturing specialised products such as medical devices but the real revolution will come when designers start to rethink the shapes of objects.

3D printing removes the limitations of the manufacturing process from the equation, which means whatever can be designed on a computer can be turned into an object, 3D printing specialists say.

To really start using the technology to its full potential, designers and engineers need to imagine new products.

“You are almost unlimited as to the type of geometric complexity,” said Terry Wohlers, an independent analyst who advises companies on the 3D printing sector.

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Source: Reuters

Massive Fiber-Optic Installation Lights Up Library Queries

Getting a glimpse into the curious minds of others has never been so beautiful – or so bright.

Designers Brian W. Brush and Yong Ju Lee of E/B Office New York created an extensive fiber-optic installation for the Teton County Library grand opening in Wyoming that visualizes library searches in flashes of colored light. Dubbed Filament Mind, the installation, which opened at the end of January, uses over five miles of fiber-optic cables and 44 LED illuminators to collect, categorize, and render searches from libraries all across the state of Wyoming into glowing bursts of color.

Visualizations begin when a person uses specific words while searching online library catalogs. Subjects including social sciences, arts, languages, history, and philosophy have been categorized by the Dewey Decimal System into 904 text labels, so that when a person uses any one of those labels in their search, it’s filtered through the categories and the corresponding fiber optic cable lights up. If a person clicks on one of the results of their search, another cable will light up. There’s also a donor mode in which the entire display flashes with all the different colors of light, as a way to thank the private donors that made the project possible.

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Written by: Valentina Palladino

Source: Wired Design