PROTOTYPING

Despite our long-time interest in optics, developing LIGHT KEEPER came with its fair share of complexity. Our lens is based on the beautiful fresnels seen in lighthouses, but its intention is opposite: instead of focusing light and beaming it over a great distance, it divides and refracts light, moving it in rainbow waves across the landscape.

In our pursuit of rainbows, we built several prototypes and prism machines, casting spectral light near and far before we were satisfied with our designs.

Most of our experiments took place at Blank Page Studios, the home base of Studio North. We spent many a night beaming light out the window, in pursuit of visibility and focus. It was important to compare our light experiments to the brightness of streetlamps and passing cars.

Our research and development included rainbow consultations, and we owe a debt of gratitude to Photon Wizard in San Francisco for his magical guidance. Despite being known to us through instagram alone, he took an hour one afternoon to skype walk us through rainbow-making techniques (including the difficulty of obtaining proper greens) and the origin of the illusive fuschia (a combination of two rainbows where violet overlaps with red).

Along with our research, Photon Wizard’s suggestions for properly angling our prisms saved us much trial and error.

Studio North is a growing design + build practice in Calgary, and as such, we were lucky (speaking from the perspective of Caitlind & Wayne) to tap into their network of colleagues, employees, and interns.

A handful of their Studio invested effort into this project, including Damon, Brighton, and more, but we owe special gratitude to Nicolas Hamel, a design student who interned with Studio North, and spent much time rising to the challenge of the LIGHT KEEPER with insight, skill, and lateral thinking.

Every prototype brought us a bit closer to satisfaction. The final lens for LIGHT KEEPER is modest but powerful, projecting handsome rainbows as intended. We could not have reached this point without a series of prototypes, each a little better than the last.