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Lantern Field, an interactive installation with paper, light and sound

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Published on May 5, 2013

Lantern Field was designed by a team of Virginia Tech students and faculty led by Aki Ishida, Assistant Professor of Architecture. It was installed in the courtyard loggia at the Smithsonian: Freer|Sackler, The Smithsonian's Museums of Asian Art in Washington, DC on April 5 to 7, 2013 during the National Cherry Blossom Festival. Interactive sound and light were designed in collaboration with Ivica Ico Bukvic, Brennon Bortz, and Benjamin Knapp of the Institute for Creativity, Arts and Technology at Virginia Tech. Mulberry paper lanterns are suspended from an undulating grid of bamboo hung overhead. The sensors activate the shift in light hue and sound as people move through the loggia. Those who stay to actively explore the sound are rewarded by the appearance of deeper notes, which could also emerge in response to a general flurry of activity.

Instructor/Design Director:
Aki Ishida, AIA, LEED AP, Assistant Professor of Architecture
Time Lapse Photography: Jeff Goldberg/Esto

Digitally Interactive Sound and Lighting:
Ivica Ico Bukvic, PhD, Associate Professor of Music Technology
Brennon Bortz, PhD candidate in Computer Engineering
R. Benjamin Knapp, PhD, Director of Institute for Creativity, Arts and Technology (ICAT) at Virginia Tech
Graduate students in Computer Engineering and Music Technology: Taylor O'Connor, Deba Pratim Saha, and Nikhila Reddy

Design and fabrication of lanterns and bamboo frames:
Students in Aki Ishida's Second Year Architecture Studio at Virginia Tech, 2012/13
Tamiko Acuna, Forrest Bibeau, Joaquin Chacon, Mykayla Fernandes, Megan Gileza, Sarah Hill, John Iaconis, Jeremy Jones, Veronique Rodriguez, Samantha Sturgill, and Zachary Wolk

Fabrication Assistance:
Jonathan Foote, Carolina Dayer, Sean MacManus, Kyle Usselton, Students of Jonathan Foote's Product Making class at Virginia Tech Washington-Alexandria Architecture Center

Project funding and sponsorship:
The National Cherry Blossom Festival; The Smithsonian's Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery; Philips Color Kinetics; Institute for Creativity, Arts and Technology at Virginia Tech; The Japan Foundation New York's Arts & Culture grant; and College of Architecture + Urban Studies at Virginia Tech

Special thanks to
Evelyn Peng, Richard Skinner, and Hutomo Wicaksono of The Freer and Sackler Galleries
Lillian Iversen of the National Cherry Blossom Festival
Mario Cortez, Michael Ervi, Tyson Phillips

Project Contact:
Aki Ishida, Virginia Tech, aishida@vt.edu

For more information:

Lantern Field wins international Architectural Lighting Design Award 2013: http://www.archlighting.com/cultural-...
Lantern Field on Virginia Tech News: http://www.vtnews.vt.edu/photo-galler...
Lantern Field on Philips Color Kinetics case studies website: http://www.colorkinetics.com/showcase...

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