Lighting For designspace At ASU

John Featherstone, principal designer, led the team from Lightswitch in designing the lighting for designspace, a mile-long drive through immersive experience that transforms the Packard Parking Garage at Arizona State University through April 25, 2021. Renowned structural artists HYBYCOZO and ASU's own rising stars from the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts were on the design team as well. Since opening on April 9, the event sold about 4,000 tickets, so averaging four people per vehicle, around 16,000 guests have seen the project so far.

Live Design: What was the design intent for the lighting? Why the outer space theme?

John Featherstone: It was less outer space, but more an exploration of the duality of space. Not just the space above us, but in these COVID times, also the space between us...

LD: How does the lighting (and video) transform the parking garage into a beautiful immersive environment?

JF: Well, the beautiful white painted parking structure is the perfect canvas for light! As several people commented, ‘its like being inside a lava lamp’ because the color is so immersive and enveloping!

LD: Where are the fixtures placed, which ones are the workhorses and what about use of color and movement in the light?

JF: Of course, parking garages are not known for an abundance of rigging points! So almost all of the fixtures were on the ground, which works really well for a vehicle based experience anyway. We leaned on several fixtures as the core of the experience—Robe Megapointes, Esprites and Spiider, and Elation Q7 IP rated Zoom PARS, and Proteus Hybrids.

LD: Power?

JF: We had two 400A generators for the project.

LD: How much time for the load in and programming?

JF: We spent a rewarding and exciting two weeks with the student designers, technicians and artists, loading in, focusing, and programming the project.

LD: What makes it successful for you in terms of the final "look"?

JF: I think first and foremost, we were able to give students an outlet for their creativity, and something physical and real to do!! But in terms of the look, it was really successful being able to transform something as mundane as a parking garage into an amazing, immersive and interactive art experience, that is still COVID safe!


And the project made the local news:

• designscape 2021 credits

Lightswitch: John Featherstone, Chris Merriman, Chris Trosper, Collin Mulligan, Dennis Connors, Ellen Beckett, Hailey Featherstone, Lacey Taylor, Steve Hiben, Zach Buckingham

Video West: Jack Waitkus, Donny Lodico, Jerry Villaire, Nick Phrasavath, Rob Nimmo, Silas Flores

HYBYCOZO: Yelena Filipchuk, Serge Beaulieu

ILC: Scott Falbe, Joby Benoit

Student Designers & Technicians: Axel Adams, Elizabeth Kraus, Ian Irizarry, Krystalynn Newbury, Leah Zweig, Lucy Primiano, Sierra Holly, Valerie Stutterheim, Veronica Mangu, Wade Yorke

Student Documentarian: Micah Rind

Student Artists: “Bootes Constellation Sonification” Anastacia Meconiates, Nikhita Sheller, Wyatt Dittmar, Ziyu Wang, Elora Mattison; “Dancing in Augmented Reality” Kathy Luo, Laura Brackney, Leia Wasbotten; “Digital Alchemies” Shomit Barua; “Dissonant Waters” Xavier Nokes, Olivia Hernandez, Julian Nguyen, Shomit Barua; “Dancing Into Starstuff” Matt Soson, Lauren Gold, Shomit Barua; “SloMoCo Spring Phase Immediations” Andrew Robinson, Garrett Johnson,

Contributing Artists: Megan Young (Cleveland); PlaceHolder Group: thispatcher, Kavi, Renee Carmichael, Emory Martin (Toronto/Buenos Aires); Fidelia Lam (LA), Fernando Gregório (NYC), Lisa Jamhoury (NYC/Vermont), Nuntinee Tansrisakul & Yuguang Zhang (NYC), Thembi Rosa & Joao Tragtenberg (Brazil), Lydia Jessup (NYC), Hannah Tardie (NYC/Maine), Nire & Laura Stinger (NYC), Selwa Sweidan & Nina Sarnelle (LA)