Art Architecture Design

The Seven Lamps  2001

Forecourt sculpture paving, sun/security screening and colour scheme
Clarence High School Design & Applied Technology Studios

Cubes: Precast concrete, powdercoated steel front, glass brick rear infill
Internal cube lighting: PLC interactive lighting control system.
Paving: Concrete, blue and red bricks, stainless steel strips.
Sun/security screening: Powdercoated perforated steel

The title of the work references John Ruskin’s (1819-99) classic work The Seven Lamps Of Architecture, a work Ruskin deemed to reiterate the essential aesthetic principles. The work seeks to engage the inquiring student mind in the exploration of both historical design principles and functionally generated requirements, whilst offering both performing arts (lighting) and industry (PLC) learning opportunity.

The paving design embodies the historic aesthetic principles of the golden rectangle and the chambered nautilus shell analysis developed from Leonardo Fibonacci and his Fibonacci sequence, which is overlayed with pedestrian circulation desire lines.

The sequence of seven cubes, which reinforce the entry approach, are spaced according to the Fibonacci sequence and through colour and internal lighting illumination provide an experiential movement sequence both by day and by night. The cubes float above the paving surface. The coloured steel panel fronts are incised with laser cutout lettering, announcing the process DESIGN and the fundamental principles of the design process, namely IDENTIFY, ANALYSE, CREATE, DEVELOP, PRODUCE, EVALUATE. The glass brick rear faces facilitate the casting of a light pool sequence, intensifying with approach.

The cubes are internally illuminated, each with lamps of three colours. The lamps are controlled by a PLC (programmable logic controller) linked to the school’s computer system, providing the capability for either static or dynamic lighting scenario orchestration. The control system is industry generic. Control options range from simple switch selection to animated programming, providing students with both a creative nocturnal image making learning (drama) and industry learning opportunity.

A Tasmanian Art for Public Buildings Scheme Commission

“Design is both the process of organizing the elements of visual form and the product of that process. One perceives design as well creates design; design grows from the basic human need to find and make meaningful order. This project responds to projecting the presence of both the studios and the school to the surrounding community, and at the same time giving the students insight into some of the principles that have historically influenced the design process. I strive to achieve this in a manner responding to the given architectural and urban context.”