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Lighting Design, Fall 2021

Installation for Materializing Light

Beyond Seeing


The assignment presented at the start of this course was ‘Lighting materials and materialising light’. 

While the goal is to show the physical properties of light, light itself needs a medium (with physical properties of its own) to be observed. In a team of 3, we formulated our challenge as such:


Can we imagine what light would look like if it were a solid material? 



To capture this intangible solid effect, fog-filled soap bubbles are used. The bubble can be observed by the viewer, but if the viewer tries to touch the bubble it pops. With this, we also intend to capture the fleetingness of light: without it’s medium, it cannot be observed. Once the bubble pops, the ‘light’ is gone.


Light is ever-present but goes unnoticed, undetected and unappreciated at times. We aimed to let viewers experience light in a materialised way that makes them aware of the physical presence of light. This installation can serve as a "sensitizing experience" for a museum exhibition on light by demonstrating basic principles and sparking curiosity. 

There are three distinct light scenes, all set against a red backdrop. With strong red light, the light bubbles become harder to see, as the color the bubble reflects matches the backdrop. With blue light, the bubbles get a strong contrast. Focus light causes a lot of shadows in the scene, while ambient light takes them away, making the bubbles’ position in the scene harder to determine. 

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