Light as Symbol

Early November brought the 25th anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall. The city commemorated the historic event and changes it brought by placing 8,000 illuminated (and biodegradable) balloons along the city where the wall stood, designed by Christopher and Marc Bauder.


The artists wanted the installation to be an “alien object,” like the Wall was, “something that doesn’t belong,” while also ensuring to evoke the hopeful feelings that came after the Fall. See their interview in this NY Times video. We think using illumination was a great way to achieve this. The artists made sure to use lighting in the balloons that was different from the surrounding exterior and building lights, achieving that alien effect. And the stark images of the lit installation in the dark definitely make one think of hope. It’s a common metaphor for a reason. Seeing that bit of light in the dark, either figuratively or literally, is a relief. In darkness, we often freeze. We can keep moving if we can see where we’re going, even just one step at a time.

At the end of the three days, on the anniversary of the Fall, all 8,000 balloons (biodegradable, remember) were released into the air, symbolizing the hope that came with the Fall of the Wall, and the faith of the people that they can keep moving forward.

Light as Art

Designers often get categorized as artists. We can’t completely reject this categorization, but what we do is so much broader than that. These are light art installations — individual pieces designed exhibit-style to invoke artistic thoughts.

And now there’s a museum just for light art! The Centre for International Light Art Unna has many exclusive exhibits showcasing light art. Here are a few of our favorites:

Rebecca Horn’s Lotusschatten 2006 (See more of her work here)







 Mischa Kuball’s Space-Speech-Speed





























Are you planning on visiting anytime soon? We’re definitely going the next time we’re in Berlin. We’re also looking forward to seeing the contestants in their inaugural International Light Art Award.

Playing with the Dark

Metropolis Magazine wrote a piece on Linnaea Tillett‘s designs. They are pretty spectacular and we here at AvLt admire her work. Check out a few pictures:

(from Metropolis Magazine)

(from Metropolis Magazine)









In the article, Linnaea talks about using darkness in her designs. “seeing more is often a matter of less light,” she says, and “too much light hinders perception.” We run into this while designing museum exhibits, where displaying just the right amount of light to highlight certain areas is crucial. When we design, we design the dark as much as we design the light.

What experiences have you had when you’ve played with the dark in your designs?


What Time Is It?

Are your circadian rhythms getting you down?

We all know how it feels when a day seems like an eternity and when it seems like it went by in a second.  The idea that time is in the body of the beholder is the basis for the United Visual Artists project Always/Never.  The project is a hypnotic sculpture showing how light, both natural and artificial, affects your everyday being.

Watch: A Hypnotic Sculpture That Depicts Time’s Passing


Project Opening: Channel Center Garage

The Channel Center Garage officially opened 29 July 2014. Team members CV Properties, Spalding Tougias Architects Inc, Halvorson Design Partnership, Available Light, and artist Joanne Kaliontzis all celebrated with the Fort Point community in an evening-to-dark bash. The Revolutionary Snake Ensemble got everyone moving, food trucks offered delicious fare, and families enjoyed romping around the new park.

We entered the project with two missions. First, to design the lighting for a parking structure that met both the owner’s minimum light level expectations while also meeting or exceeding energy codes — all while working towards a target budget. To squeeze out and maximize every watt of energy consumption, a state-of-the-art control system, coupled with LED luminaires, is constantly monitoring and reacting to both auto and pedestrian occupancy. With 1,644 total lighting fixtures, it is ten times more efficient than required by code.

Second, to create a programmable and dynamic lighting system to support an artist’s vision for the exterior facade. Color-changing LED technology, located behind the exterior art panels, reveal shape and form during the nighttime presentation. It is Boston’s largest illuminated artwork, with 2,031 custom panels punched with 999,396 holes.

Additionally, the Garage features 5 electric vehicle charging stations, 10 electric vehicle spaces, 6 carpool spaces, and 100 bicycle spaces. The green space in front offers play equipment, a dog park, a basketball court, and more than 140 trees. There’s plenty of space for dancing.

This building is an icon for the entire South Boston rejuvenation effort and we are extremely proud to be part of the team tasked with bringing it to life!

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