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Interactive Ground

Interactive Lighting Installation & Concept Design

lighting design title

Project Type:  Interactive installation

Roles:  Designer & maker

Team:  Y. Zhang, J. Luo, H. Shi, S. Zhou

Timeline:  Spring 2013

Design Customized Lighting

As more and more activities take place at night, lighting is becoming increasingly important in college students' life. However, the object and activities to be illuminated are never static. And lighting solutions should change according to different objects. In this project, we seek to create a new interactive ground which responds to various evening events and changes accordingly to objects types and their motions.

The Research

There are many types of activities: concert, ball, cocktail party, and small meetings. In order to know what kind of color is better for lighting, we experimented on effects of lighting on objects, people, food, and plats. As result, factors like color, illuminance, direction all play important roles in the final visual results.

Lighting on People

  • White color is essential for people's lighting.
  • Multi-direction light is suitable for moving objects.
  • Lighting on Objects

  • White color is essential for good visuals.
  • One-direction light is more suitable for still objects.
  • Lighting on Plants

  • Contrast color on plants bring people completely different feelings.
  • Lights should be placed both in and out of plants.
  • Design Explorations

    In the transformation between scenarios, lighting acts as a media to perform different topography on the same ground. Upon responding to the activities, different lighting shapes people as well as landscape.

    Interactive Pixel

    Moving from traditional boxes, we generated interactive pixel, which holds both fluid surface and flat ground.


    The interactive pixel can response to both individual and collective activities differently, thus creating


    Individuals movements together form the interactivity of the whole surfae. Specially, collective points serve as the main driving factors.

    Lighting Simulation

    I did two renderings to simulate the activities happening in the surface.

    Design & Prototype

    We then made installations to test on the mixing of lighting effects according to the research above. Through the control of circuits, we made the installation interactive to different scenarios.


    We made installations with simple board and reflective paper. The triangle shape and reflections made the lighting effect overlapping with each other.


    We tested on different colors and color combinations based on the research conducted. We only have three colors of LEDs, but we can create far more beyond that by combinations.


    We developed a prototype to simulate and demonstrate our design explorations.