Light-Space Art - Resonance

Last fall the Light-Space Art class that i taught at Parsons created a temporary installation that was part of a public program titled Questioning Light which was sponsored by the MFA Lighting Design program. The site specific installation, titled Resonance, examined notions of time and body movement in conjunction with division, as the art work was installed in the middle of the presentation space obstructing movement and view between the two halves. Attendees were forced to pass through the work, presenting themselves in a stage of light and optical distortion. Click here to see the video that displays time based lighting effects and the construction process.  

Artery Residence Chandelier

My recent trip to Kansas City included a field visit to the Artery Residence where I spent extensive time fine tuning the two custom chandeliers located in the kitchen and dining room.  Together, the two chandeliers are composed of some 300 individual pendants, each of which has six LED sources contained within miniature brass housings. My simple snapshots attempt to capture the elegant transparency of each luminaire and the void that is created between chandelier mass and the corresponding furniture below.  This compressed “void” was conceived as a space for social exchange between family and friends as they gather around the kitchen island and the dining table.  Look for final images as the project comes to a close over the coming weeks.  Architect: Hufft Projects, Chandelier Manufacturer: Vision Quest Lighting, Lighting Controls Integrator: Forrester Tech, Chandelier Design: Derek Porter Studio with assistance by Susan Clark.

School of Architecture at the University of Limerick, Ireland

Last week marked my first trip to the University of Limerick in Ireland where I introduced architecture students to the fundamentals of natural lighting design.  The students constructed a heliodon and conducted model studies where they explored the relationships between solar geometry, size, scale and orientation of fenestration, and material reflectance.  In addition to practical applications, students considered theories surrounding universal and local forces that converge at a site, exterior and interior connections, variations of form making and how natural light can add rich meaning to architecture, interior programming and human perception.  I return at the end of February to examine how they apply this newly gained knowledge to their studio projects.    

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Scorpion Fitness with Bernheimer Architects

Scorpion Fitness merges intense aerobic exercise with a moody lounge atmosphere.  Located in a subterranean retail space in Manhattan, light is integrated with primary focal elements of the interior to create distinct thresholds of passage for gym-goers as they move from the vivid natural light of New York City to interior lower level darkness.  Light, shadow, material and texture combine to mark the entry threshold, stair, elevator vertical core and the welcome desk.  Anticipated construction completion is in 2016.  Renderings provided by Bernheimer Architects

Georgia Tech University Custom Chandelier

Georgia Tech University is renovating two library spaces in the Price Gilbert and Crosland Tower buildings that are located on the main campus in Atlanta, Georgia.  Derek Porter Studio, in collaboration with Lumen Architecture, has designed the new lighting system which includes energy efficient LED sources and daylight harvesting controls.  Advanced technology is synonymous with this highly aclaimed research university.  Commensurate with this institutional identity, DPS designed a custom solid state chandelier for the ground level reading room.  This featured center piece is comprised of 320 individual pendants, each of which has eight two-sided dynamic white pixels distributed across its 10' length and a single separately controlled downlight located at the bottom.  The 3000 individual channels are DMX controlled and can play preprogrammed scenes or translate live-stream video feed into dynamic light shows.  Architecture by BNIM Architects, Diva renderings by Kama Wybieralska of Parsons.  

Blue School with PellOverton Architects

The Blue School is an alternative grade school dedicated to integrated academic, social, and creative experiences for children.  Light and color proved to be important material considerations throughout this modest addition and renovation.  One area of particular interest is the stair where unique color washes of reflected light bleed into the stairway to aid wayfinding at floor entries.  Construction completion is scheduled for December 2015.  (Architecture renderings by PellOverton, illuminance calculation renderings by James Clotfelter, Parsons).

Parsons Light Years Symposium and Reception

Yesterday afternoon and evening the Parsons Master of Fine Arts Lighting Design program held a public symposium that celebrated the 30 year anniversary of the lighting design program as well as UNESCO's declaration of 2015 being the International Year of Light.  The afternoon was full of extraordinary conversations surrounding the history of lighting design education and the evolution of the lighting design profession.  As part of the symposium, students in my Light, Space, Art elective designed an installation that evolved through a study of the intrinsic properties of the space and their interest in a subtle intervention.  The intervention was conceived as an extension of the space - shifting void to positive, shadow to light - in order to reveal a new understanding of the unique lighting properties in the space.  

Pulse Field Final Stage of Installation

I've been in Wichita this week working on the final installation phase of the Pulse Field.  It was quite exciting to see the luminaries "on" for the first time and the pulsing patterns that result.  Opening public celebration this Saturday, all day and evening if you should be in the area.  

Pulse Field Luminaire Prototype

Recently I received from DuraComm Lighting prototype luminaires for the Pulse Field art installation at the Wichita Art Museum.  I've included images here of the luminaire assembled and disassembled - revealing the internal electronics the create light, pulsing effects, energy capture (photo-voltaic panel on top of cap) and energy storage.  Its a completely self-sufficient encapsulated system.  Grand opening for the complete installation and the museum's new Art Garden is September 26.  For more information on Pulse Field, refer to earlier blog posts in my NEWS section.      

Wichita Art Museum Custom Bollard

The primary pedestrian walk through the new outdoor Art Garden at the Wichita Art Museum will be graced with a new custom bollard that I designed.  Five individual LED luminaires are located asymmetrically in the wood body.  Each luminaire has a unique mounting angle and optical assembly that collectively illuminate the linear path adjacent to the bollard.  With interest of enhancing a personal garden experience, the modest form, unique aperture pattern and wood material of the new bollard offer a refreshing departure from conventional luminaires that have a more technical aesthetic.  The attached images are of the first full assembly viewed at the manufacturer along with the initial concept sketch.  Site installation will be complete in September.  Landscape Architect: Confluence, Manufacturer, DuraComm Lighting and Structura.  

Artery Residence Integrated Lighting is Taking Shape

Below are a few snap shots of selected interior spaces taken during a recent site visit.  After several years of design and construction, the careful integration of light with architecture is finally coming to fruition - a particularly exciting moment in construction to witness the unique personality of the house come to life.  Construction completion scheduled for fall 2015.  Architect: Hufft Projects.  

Pulse Field Installation Underway at Wichita Art Museum

Ground screw and stem installations are almost complete after three long days in the Kansas summer heat and occasional rain.  Remaining details to wrap up today (weather permitting) include plumbing stems, cropping the tops to a level datum and capping the stem/ground screw connection.  Prairie grass landscaping will be installed soon with luminaire installation - the final crowning moment to the Pulse Field installation - scheduled for early September.  The official public opening of Pulse Field and the new Wichita Art Museum Art Garden is September 26.   

Wichita Art Museum Sculpture Lighting Mockup

Last night, working into the wee hours of the morning and contending with a dusty construction site, Derek Porter Studio and Lightworks conducted lighting mock-ups in the new Art Garden.  The recently installed sculptures allowed us to explore luminaire placement, light intensity, shadow patterns, correlated color temperature and glare potential within the context of the actual site.  In addition to these technical considerations, this investigation allowed us - lighting designer, museum staff and the extended design team - to examine how electric lighting affects the perceived nighttime character of the artworks.  This information is now used to inform the final lighting design.     (photos by Terry Berkbuegler of Confluence).  

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Derek Porter Studio receives three International Merit Awards

Derek Porter Studio received three 2015 International Illumination Awards of Merit through the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America.  Projects include the Kansas Leadership Center in Wichita Kansas (Architect: Opus Group), Crossroads Residence (Architect: Gould Evans), and the Chicago-Bucktown Residence (Architect: Min | Day).  Congratulations is due to all design team members and stake holders that contributed to the successful designs.      

Kansas Leadership Center

Kansas Leadership Center

Kansas Leadership Center

Kansas Leadership Center

Crossroads Residence

Crossroads Residence

Crossroads Residence

Crossroads Residence

Chicago-Bucktown Residence

Chicago-Bucktown Residence

Chicago-Bucktown Residence

Chicago-Bucktown Residence

Wichita Art Museum Pulse Field - Installation Begins June 23

After several months of development, Pulse Field, a permanent art installation that I designed for the Wichita Art Museum, begins to take form.  Composed of 120 solar powered luminaires that are mounted on stems ranging from 8' to 16' tall, Pulse Field establishes a fixed datum over a 200' long gently sloping berm.  This implied ceiling plane establishes a reference point against the contoured landscape aiding the viewer's ability to more keenly recognize topographical change.  The stem mounted luminaires slowly pulse  and the stems gently sway in the breeze, further animating the tension between technology and nature.   Landscape Architect: Confluence, Art Fabricator: DuraComm Lighting, Installer: Suburban Landscape Management.   

Derek Porter Teaches at Cornell University

For the second straight year I had the good fortune to teach a 4 week module on Lighting Design to architecture student in the School of Architecture, Art and Planning at Cornell University.  This discipline specific module, part of the larger Environmental Systems II course, introduces natural and electric lighting concepts, technologies and applications to both graduate and undergraduate students.  Additionally, a great deal of focus is offered on human factors so that design for the built environment that humans inhabit is appropriately contextualized.  It was a please to share the interests of light, space, human perception and integrated design - topics highly valued at Parsons - with a new and diverse group of students.  

Support Container at Parsons - A limited time remains

Container is a new student led and operated journal that includes projects and critical writing by Parsons students in the School of Constructed Environments.  The journal epitomizes the aspirations of SCE as being an incubator for cross-disciplinary design and critical debate in architecture, product, interior and lighting design.  The students have launched a kickstarter campaign to raise funds for this inaugural printing and have limited time remaining to meet their goal.  Please consider supporting this most important initiative yourself as well as pass this message along to others that you know in architecture, design and academic fields that support such interests.  Your contribution today will greatly expand the student's personal intellectual pursuit as well as advance the creative communities that shape the world within which we occupy.