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August 16, 2020

Week 10 & 11: Finishing Transient Stillness and Choreography of Light – Yunni Cho, BRDD 21′

by Yunni

<Transient Stillness>

Transient Stillness is focused on the poetic and abstract nature of daylight and its beauty. It started with my own personal observation of the sky in my neighborhood due to the physical restrictions I faced with the current pandemic. The project was realized by simply trying many different methods to document what I saw and how I felt in response to each and every moment I had with daylight. The result of those experimentations is this book.

Rather than focusing on the objective information or the universal truth, my project communicates a very personal – in fact, quite narrow – point of view towards daylight. By sharing my own perception in this way, I hope to share my appreciation and passion for natural light with others. The use of different techniques attempts to recreate the four visual properties of daylight, analyzing each layer separately. In real life, all four properties occur almost simultaneously to create our vision, which often makes us forget the value of a single property on its own. Through the separation of the properties, I wanted to show the beauty that is unique to each property, allowing the viewers to rethink and evaluate their own perception of light in a similar manner.

This project is about sharing my personal thoughts and experiences. But it can also serve as a guide to follow. For each technique I used, I included a few reference pictures of the daylight conditions I depicted in order to show the whole process of my analysis. I hope these pictures make the drawings more approachable and accessible to understand how they were produced, as they show a snapshot of what I saw at that particular moment. 

We see daylight almost everyday, and yet we rarely find time in our busy lives to appreciate its power and beauty. As this project shows, our natural light constantly changes its form, color, position in space, and movement. In other words, every moment of our daylight is unique and special. 

My ultimate goal for Transient Stillness is to allow one to find more beauty and appreciation in their daily interactions with light. Along with my drawings and pictures, I also included a few quotes from other architects, interior designers, and lighting professionals to provide a wider platform and range of  perspectives to discuss natural light. This project has not ended yet. Indeed, this is just a beginning to start a longer discussion about daylight by inviting others to reflect and share their versions of daylight. Transient Stillness will change and evolve as much as daylight itself.

<Choreography of Light>

In my research, I came across essays on public narrative written by Marshall Ganz in 2008 for Harvard Kennedy School. In this article, Ganz talks about how to effectively create a shared story through a story of self, us, and now. He states that through the narrative story of ‘self’ and ‘us’, one can build a sense of community. Similarly, through the story of ‘us’ and ‘now’, urgency gets formed and ‘purpose’ arises from the story of ‘self’ and ‘now’. I think his logic on public narrative is a perfect fit for the Choreography of Light

A story of self emerges from our lighting – what has shaped ‘me’ – as it reflects one’s individual perception of their surroundings. The chapters on lighting design for architectural spaces shape a story of ‘us’ – about our shared values and experience – forming the connection between lighting and spatial experience, shaping the community of place. The chapters on the excessive use of artificial light in a city and the problem of light pollution is the story of ‘now’ – about strategies  and actions – asking for a solution to urgency. 

By borrowing Ganz’s method to organize different chapters, I wanted to achieve simplicity. I organized each chapter in the same order using the same medium. Every chapter starts with a source picture, which is then digitally analyzed to show different layers of lighting, followed by an essay about a broader theme, and ends with citations and notes from my research process. Through this straightforward organization, my aim was to present relatable and accessible content for a wide audience from diverse backgrounds. Sharing stories about light from many different vantages, this project attempts to engage in ongoing collaborative research about our usage of light in various environments through non-academic pedagogies.

In creating this project, I received immense help from Ulrike Brandi, a well-known lighting designer and a professional based in Hamburg, Germany and Luca Salas Bassani Antivari, an architectural designer and lighting specialist from Mexico City. Despite our time differences and working schedules, we were in constant contact with each other through video calls and messaging. I would like to thank them for their contributions and generous support.

<Virtual presentation / meeting Notes>

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