Deprecated: Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in /home2/madmuse/public_html/wp-content/plugins/tantan-flickr/flickr.php on line 58

Deprecated: Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in /home2/madmuse/public_html/wp-content/plugins/tantan-flickr/flickr.php on line 66

Deprecated: Function ereg() is deprecated in /home2/madmuse/public_html/wp-content/plugins/tantan-flickr/flickr.php on line 56

Deprecated: Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in /home2/madmuse/public_html/wp-content/plugins/tantan-flickr/flickr.php(83) : runtime-created function on line 1

Deprecated: Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in /home2/madmuse/public_html/wp-content/plugins/tantan-flickr/flickr.php(88) : runtime-created function on line 1

Deprecated: Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in /home2/madmuse/public_html/wp-content/plugins/tantan-flickr/flickr/widget.php on line 67
Open Studios Visit: Lara Knutson « MAD Blog
Strict Standards: Non-static method TanTanFlickrDisplayJQueryLightboxBox::headTags() should not be called statically in /home2/madmuse/public_html/wp-content/plugins/tantan-flickr/templates/photoalbum-resources.php(231) : runtime-created function on line 1

Open Studios Visit: Lara Knutson

MAD’s Open Studios are an educational space that fosters dialogue between artists, designers, and museum visitors. It’s a space for museum visitors to encounter artists at work, to talk with them about their processes, materials, and concepts. Every day, the Open Studios hosts artists and designers as they produce their work in a public environment. The Open Studios also supports the development of original works through special projects and residencies.

Open Studios visit: Lara Knutson

Lara’s work looks like ordinary sculptures and jewelry, made of a nondescript gray thread. But when light hits the fibers in just the right way, they suddenly light up, magically, as if the fibers were made of lights! It’s so cool!

Hi! What’s the work you typically do when you’re not here?

This is actually the work that I do when I’m not here. I finished my master’s degree in May 2011 and I invented this lighting effect just before I graduated. I filed for a patent and now I finally get to play with it!

What exactly are you making right now?

I’m weaving a light fixture out of this material. It’ll be an experimental woven lampshade that has a 3-D printed armature and LEDs will embedded in it. So as the woven material moves in and out through space, the LEDs will be reflecting off the opposite surface, making these bubbles. I don’t know what I’m doing, I’m just experimenting, which I think is the best way to work. I think the materials and the light will tell me what it wants to be. Since I’m only here for four months and only one day a week, I had to come up with a plan. So, I have a rough plan but I have room to experiment and discover. I’m just winging it. And if I do it wrong, that’s fine, you know. I think it’s more fun to just go through the process and I try not to judge it too much, because it’s more about paying attention to the subtleties and just letting it happen. I think creativity should be free, you know? 

Please tell us a bit about yourself and how you got here?

My background is in architecture. I went to Pratt twice. I studied architecture, then I worked for ten years and then I went back to get my Master’s degree at Pratt, again, for Industrial Design. So I went to Pratt for eight years total – I know, it’s ridiculous! But all the while, while I was an architect, I worked nights and weekends, experimenting with materials, and then in 2002, I discovered this material and just went crazy about it. I didn’t have a goal in mind and I just let it evolve.  

How did this material find you?

Well, originally I was looking at these seashells at a beach that I grew up with, because when you crush them it just throws glittery dust in the air and I thought it was really interesting.

This was at the beach in New Jersey, Long Beach Island. Then, I was in this science and surplus store one day and I discovered this material, Mica, it’s an electrical insulating material but it actually looked so much like these seashells that I thought, ‘That’s really interesting, one’s a mineral and one’s a seashell.’ And they both played with light and I got obsessed with that and made some things, like a necklace that makes glitter. Mica’s actually the same mineral that’s in cosmetics that makes them sparkle, so this is almost like a cosmetic necklace. Then one day I discovered this reflective material, and it still played with light but it was man-made and then I got into it more and learned how it works and…I mean, I’m just following my curiosity.

What excites you about this material?

I think what I love about it is that this material is really kind of alive. That you walk around it, it shines light at you, it kind of talks to you, it responds, it kind of dances, and it has all these other kind of magical effects. It makes rainbows. I just love that it’s not just an inanimate object, and it makes people present, like, when people see it shine light, it’s like they’re suddenly there, in the moment, with the thing and they get excited, and I get photographs from people all over the world, sending me photographs of this jewelry glowing and they are so excited… I mean, to me that’s special. And I love that it’s not always interesting, because sometimes it’s just this boring grey stuff and then all of a sudden it comes alive. But if it was always shining light at you, it wouldn’t be interesting, it would be boring. So it’s because it responds to you. I like that. I think just, as a concept for product design or event architecture, I think it’s something to think about. 

For sure! Thank you Lara Knutson!

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

 

Strict Standards: Non-static method TanTanFlickrDisplayBase::footer() should not be called statically in /home2/madmuse/public_html/wp-content/plugins/tantan-flickr/templates/photoalbum-resources.php(232) : runtime-created function on line 1