Overview

Taught by Massimo Banzi and David Cuartielles – two of the Arduino Co-Founders, this class introduced students to Physical Computing applied to the design of interactive lighting fixtures. The main focus was to explore the process of creation of LED based lamps with non-traditional interfaces and functions.

Lighting manufacturers are in the process of moving away from conventional light sources like incandescent lamps towards more energy efficient sources like LEDs. In many instances, the use of LEDs is limited to replacing light bulbs with little creativity towards the innovative uses of these devices.

Physical Computing allows designers to imagine different interfaces that are more poetic – exploring innovative ways to control light. Lamps can go beyond the simple act of lighting a section of space becoming carriers of information or even develop personalities.

One important aspect of the course was to develop digital fabrication skills. The possibilities that digital fabrication brings to design are endless. Working in the CIID prototyping lab, the physical artifacts developed in this class were to be laser-cut from a sheet of wood or plexiglass.