Derek Porter and MFA Lighting Design Students Focus Lights in Sheila Johnson Design Center

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Lighting students at the Sheila Johnson Design Center. Image: Derek Porter

Each semester MFA Lighting Design Program Director Derek Porter works with a select group of 6 lighting students to focus lights in the  Sheila Johnson Design Center.  The process starts with a curator-led gallery tour in order to understand the exhibition context.  This year the students worked on the exhibition, How Things Don’t Work – The Dreamspace of Victor Papanek. Students subsequently develop a lighting scheme and make all physical modifications to the track lighting system.  This process takes 8-10 hours of late night, hot and dirty work.  It involves carefully navigating around the exhibition works, removing and relocating luminaires, changing light sources, modifying optics, screening output, building accessory hoods and modifying control programming.  It has proven to be an invaluable hands on experience – offering students a truly tangible understanding of lighting design.  How Things Don’t Work is on view at the Sheila Johnson Design Center through December 15.