We use light in all aspects of our lives, yet we seldom notice it. Lighting, when well-designed, doesn’t call attention to itself. Instead, it draws focus to the subjects and activities. The control and design of lighting has provided artists, designers, and technicians with reasons to push the boundaries of their practices for a long time, and it’s no different today. In this workshop, we’ll use lighting design to learn how to use tools of computation, electronics, and digital fabrication.
We’ll start with an overview of the physics of light, its transmission, and perception. We’ll talk about sources of light and the manipulation of color through light. We’ll learn enough electronics and programming to gain control over LED light sources and discuss how to shape light using shades, baffles, and diffusers. Then, we’ll use computer graphics programming to generate patterned materials. Finally, we’ll put everything into practice by building electronic candles and lanterns.
Tom Igoe is the area head for physical computing courses at NYU's Interactive Telecommunications Program. He teaches programming, electronics, and interaction design by taking the human body and its capabilities as the starting point, encouraging students to design devices and software that can sense and respond to how humans physically express themselves. Igoe’s research interests also include networks, lighting design, the environmental and social impacts of technology development, and monkeys. He has written four books and a number of articles related to electronics and physical interaction and is a co-founder of Arduino, an open-source microcontroller environment. He has consulted for various museums and interactive design companies as well. He hopes to visit Svalbard someday.