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Light and Time

This class is about both light and time. Light changes over time, and it’s partially  through those changes and through our own actions that we can perceive the passage of time. In designing light, you’re also managing the perception of time. The length of time a light change takes, the pattern of the change, and the moments within that change where a participant can affect it are all yours to control.

Because light and action are immaterial, you’ll need analogies to describe  the change in light and the actions that cause it. When you have to hold a button down to fade a light up over several seconds, for example, the change might feel sluggish, because the beginning of the fade is not as big a change as the later part of the fade. You might try to press harder to speed it up. Changing the timing of the fade or the curve of the fade, the designer can change this feeling. If the controller is a force sensor or a squeeze bulb, the change in light might feel like it’s oozing, or puffing up. Light turned on and off by a stiff switch that turns on instantly might feel sharp.A light source that comes on instantly, like LED lights, might feel this way. Light that brightens slowly, or gradually spreads across a space might feel liquid. As you work with light and observe it, find your own terms for it, and discuss them with others to see how well they translate.