form follows light

September 24, 2019



form follows sunlight: a solstice play in three acts

since ancient times, humans have celebrated the winter solstice. many monuments around the world have woven in knowledge of solar system into their architecture. in a widely anticipated annual phenomenon, the stonehenge were aligned precisely to the movement of sun to frame the sunset during the solstice, transforming the sunlight into a dramatic light play.

this project extracts and experiments with this knowledge to create a moving spectacle once a year at the emerald necklace in boston. the light performance is made up of three light sculptures along the ribbon of green space. the forms are in response to the sun movement, controlling how light move through the space. on the 21st of december, spectators descend upon the park on this particular day to witness the three acts of light.


advisor: brandon clifford

special thanks with script writing: carol-anne rodrigues, katharine kettner

< x >



anticipation. today, is the shortest day of the year, casting the longest shadow. on the 21st of december, visitors descend upon emerald necklace on this particular day to witness the three acts of light.



act I:

the first theatre consists of two stainless steel rings gleaming at the edge of the pond. the curvature deflects sunlight, illuminating the dark interior with silhouettes of light. as the minutes pass, the sunlight’s mesmerizing movements creeps slowly along the walls - until suddenly, it disappears, replaced by darkness.



act II:

the second theatre is composed with an undulating roof punctured by skylights. the apertures are carved rhythmically, allowing varying expressions of light over time. spectators are allowed to move into the building to catch up with the light rays. after fifteen minutes, the light beams illuminate the exit, pulling spectators back to the outdoor.



act III:

the final mark into the landscape is a vertical tower, which is aligned to frame the sun, casting an extreme long shadow across a long corridor. the tunnel is always in darkness until the moment the sun moves into perfect alignment with the tower - and suddenly, the whole corridor is shimmering in light and spectators are bathed in warm light for a few dreamlike moments.



using computer simulation, the project investigates different platonic geometries and openings to create dynamic light and shadows in certain time frames.