The Dark Lantern
The Dark Lantern was developed to challenge conventional notions of lighting design. This project sought to rescue the notion of darkness from the realm of the cynical and the cliche, and present it as a magical experience. I wanted to use darkness to invert the expected and create surreal experiences that alter perceptions, as a way to provoke a discussion about light pollution in interior spaces. The growth of lighting technology has allowed illumination to become omnipresent and nearly extinguish darkness, which is essential to human health and sanity. Rather than designing "light," as so many others have done, I aimed to design for "darkness." But rather than approaching darkness as something scary or formless, I wanted to show that darkness can be exciting, joyful, and even colorful.
The Dark Lantern works by projecting beams of red and blue light, spaced the same distance apart as your eyes. While wearing corresponding colored glasses, the dual-colored shadows cast by the lantern unite into one dark form and appear to become 3-dimensional and hover like ghosts in mid-air, rather than lay flat like traditional shadows. The user can move the lantern to explore how interior spaces transform into surrealist experiences, as everyday objects in the room are echoed by their own 3D shadow. These 3D shadows can be morphed, twisted, and scaled simply by moving the light. Nearly impossible to capture in a photograph, the effect is like an analog version of virtual reality, created only by natural phenomena.