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My love of light comes most naturally from my need of sunlight, moonbeams, shadow and rainbows. Light itself actually has a sensation to me. The uplifting feeling on a very very clear day. The celestial revelation when the suns ray’s are huge shafts of light splaying from the puffs of clouds.

Even the reflection of the sun’s light splattered across a pool’s surface and throwing dancing synapses of light onto the ceiling.

The softness of light coming through a silk sheer drape.

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The harsh, bright and bold light of the Kleig lights arcing into the night sky.

It is no wonder that impressionism, watercolors, stained glass, crystal chandeliers all fill me with wonder and indeed mood. The advances in what we can do with light today are mind bending. In fact, speaking of bending, I recently installed a counter of concrete in a restaurant lounge, that had acrylic embedded within to carry light from one opening to another. The effect is playful and mysterious when you move your hand across the surface, and other areas of the acrylic ends “shadow out” seemingly all on their own.  The product is from Sensitile™ and it is called “Terrazzo”. 

Cutting edge design with light fills me with awe and delight, and projection mapping is no exception. These two videos below show what I mean.

Projection mapping at its most basic, is a computer’s map of something (boxes, sculpture and here – building facades.) and “reading” the details, fenestration, corbels, dentil moulding, capitals, etc and through programming, commands the laser lighting system to project onto the building. But it is what and how this is projected that the designer has manifested more that what we are to expect.

Below, This version of projection mapping, set in Lyon, France and is projected onto what is known as “The Clestins” – the former lyrical theater. The project is known as “Perspective Lyrique” and after the programmed display, then provides interactive architectural projection mapping, that is, laser light programmed to respond to audience input with an algorythm – from 1024architecture.net 2010.

Below, the blacked-out dark Georgentor gate of the Residenzchloss in Dresden, Germany, sits hulk-like in the dark night, until the computer sizes it up, and begins it’s magic. The windows suddenly light up, as if from within. The turrets fall away from the facade, and the whole frame appears to fall towards you. Light bombs race along the fenestration and tracery of the structure. The building melts, it tumbles into blocks, and builds again, it shimmers into a curtain, and then pixilates into a million pieces.. then reforms. At the 11:00 mark, watch the topiaries, window boxes form… This is all done with light. The shifting panels on the building, the undulating window frames that pull away from reality, are just light projected onto the facade. It’s 20 minutes. I promise you – for almost half of it, you will forget –  this is JUST LIGHT projected onto a building.