“Reverberating Light” Installation Recognized

April 17, 2024

Image of light being reflected on a wall.
Reverberating Light installation

A light and sound installation led by Yael Erel, assistant professor of architecture, has brought home top honors from the [d]arc awards - Art (low budget category). The [d]arc awards utilize arc and darc magazines’ reputation as being the most widely read and respected lighting design publications in the world. 

After projects have been shortlisted by an international jury of lighting designers, independent lighting designers, architects, interior designers, and product designers vote on their favorite projects and products, making these the only truly peer-to-peer lighting design awards in the world. 

“Reverberating Light” is a light and sound installation created by Erel and her partner, Avner Ben-Natan, that incorporates dynamic reflected light drawings that engage with soundscapes by Rensselaer’s Pauline OliverosJonas Braasch, and Zack Layton recorded through the Dan Harpole Cistern System.

“We are thrilled and heartened by receiving this award as recognition from the lighting and design community for a project that spatially captures the essence of our work and interlinks to the powerful soundscapes of Pauline Oliveros, Jonas Braasch, and Zack Layton," said Erel.

In the installation — which was displayed at EMPAC in December — light was shined onto stainless steel discs and reflected dynamic light drawings that respond to sound, creating a sense that both the sound and the light were alive. Data engraved onto the reflector by a robotic arm was derived from the footprint of the cistern, along with the way that sound reverberates off the cistern itself. Once illuminated, the information was reflected and transposed into light drawings. Multiple reflections from one light source created a sense of reverberation echoed in both light and sound.

Project Team:

  • Light drawings: Yael Erel and Avner Ben Natan
  • Soundscape: Pauline Oliveros, Jonas Braasch, and Zack Layton using the Dan Harpole Cistern System
  • Technical integration: Samuel Chabot
  • Robotics support: RPI School of Architecture Fabrication Lab and Clair Moriarty
  • RPI Research Students: Maddie Mast, Joey Morse, Joe Pelton, and Rebecca Victor

This project is made possible with funds from the Statewide Community Arts Program, a regrant program of the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Governor and the New York State Legislature; administered by The Arts Center of the Capital Region. Supported by lightexture.



Written By Tracey Leibach
Press Contact Tracey Leibach
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