I am really glad that I got to experience the Carnegie Library. It is a beautiful building with a wonderful environment. I can tell that the needs of the user were kept at the forefront. I was really inspired by the accessibility of the library and all of its resources. It is definitely a place that I will be spending a lot more time at. This made it really hard for me to design for the library. I had a really hard time finding flaws. I enjoyed wandering through and discovering new spaces, and at first, I did not think that that was something I needed to change. I am glad that I made the decision to highlight that experience. I felt passionate about creating a narrative around the whimsy and curiosity.
One issue with the Carnegie Library was the limited hours of operation. It was really difficult for me to find time to go and analyze the space before class. I wish I was aware of this earlier so I could plan accordingly.
I took a risk with my addition to the Carnegie Library’s environment. A great point made in discussion though was that I had to start somewhere, either at a small scale to develop later or at a scale that pushes boundaries that must be refined later.
I pushed the boundaries with my idea; I jumped into the concept without knowing what technology could fulfill it. I see why that’s good and bad. It’s good that I was pushing technology and trying to create something totally new. However, if this was a real proposal, I don’t think my concept would be chosen because there are too many unknowns. This would be a great point in my process, but to fulfill the point of the proposal, i want to see what technology is out there and come up with a plan that could be realized.
Going forward I need to keep in mind these questions: What’s too much? What’s enough? And is it worth the cost?
I’m not sure if I was totally convinced about the value of my idea, and I think it was apparent during my presentation. I really wanted to create something that would not ruin or hinder the library as it is now.
One thing that was missing from my concept was the lack of an interactive element. I think that crossing the line of involving the user is what gets the project from an art installation to environment design. Questions I want to consider going forward: How does it relate to individual users? How does it relate to the environment as a whole? What information do you receive from it? What happens with that information?
I found the sound spotlight concept that Austin suggested to be an interesting direction. Having extra sound might detract from the quiet environment, but I think that the idea of pinpointing an output to the specific location of an input would be fantastic at accommodating multiple types of users.
Carnegie Library Proposal
I chose to create a light installation in the Carnegie Library. I wanted to enhance the environment by adding a whimsical, unobtrusive element to exist with the beautiful architecture.
The name “The Carnegie Lights” comes from the Northern Lights (also known as Aurora Borealis), which is an awe-inspiring natural phenomenon.
I was inspired by the Seattle Public Library’s use of pattern and repetition. The library is a fun, exciting space that people want to experience time and time again.
I started my research by looking at different examples of kinetic light sculptures.
Swarm Light https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9pag8INKl_I
Crystal Chandelier https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n2Wp25xLo84
I had to be careful though because I did not want to compete with the architecture of the building. So, I designed a transparent, hovering orb whose light would pulse and whose movement would slightly rise and fall. The tone I wanted to communicate was calm and curiosity.
Orb I created in Adobe Illustrator
Here’s what it looks like with an overload of orbs
Here’s what the actual amount would be
I really enjoy the current environment of the library, so it was difficult for me to think of something new that could improve it. However, I was really surprised at the emptiness of the library, so I felt that an installation like this would become an attraction and highlight the importance of public libraries in our society. The lights communicate the tone of a library. They are very quiet, but they also have an underlying tone of wanderlust and discovery.
Thursday Presentation A3
I really loved doing this project. It allowed me to meet people who were directly affected by the problem I was trying to deal with and who presented new problems to me that helped me to develop a stronger and more informed product.
After listening to the critique on Tuesday, I really wanted to get in touch with the people who use and run the space. I emailed Gloriana St. Clair, thinking she was still the Dean of Libraries, however she informed me of the Osher group that uses library space and agreed to meet with me to discuss my plans for the physical and digital spaces. She and her fellow members of Osher had great insight and suggestions about the project and it got me thinking about how the library structure is completely temporary for certain areas and the information being put out into the world needs to inform people of this but still make them aware of the programs that exist here.
I tried to incorporate this new knowledge into my project by directly linking the different resources and websites to the Hunt Library website while still making people aware of the fact that certain things in the library are temporary and will eventually move a new space. I incorporated all the important elements of the library and its resources into the new Hunt Library website.
Something I wish I had done is change around the layout of each floor of the library and diagram it so that the actual space makes more sense. Hunt’s layout is incredibly counterintuitive and doesn’t make much sense. There are also great resources that very few people know about and take advantage of so I wanted to make these resources more apparent by putting them all in one space that’s easy to understand.
After the critique, I decided that I want to work in the physical environment rather than making a digital environment. I am not really inspired by apps or websites, so I prefer the idea of supplementing the actual space with an interactive or responsive addition. Lia made a comment about how libraries are incredible resources that we are really lucky to have. There’s so much that people miss out on by not going to the library, especially the Carnegie Library because it is such a beautiful, well-designed building. So, I hope that whatever addition to the space I create could become something that draws people to the library so they can discover the library environment.