Student Work

  • Lighting Design (MFA)

    Laura Dillon

    Contemporary Encounters: Wandering the Connected City

    The city is an accumulated multiplicity of experiences, a continually evolving collage of our individual encounters, interruptions, and diversions. New York City is aggregated from the particular urban conditions that comprise it: the island of Manhattan, the grid of streets, the rows of tall buildings lining the avenues, and the network of underground subway tunnels afford us a unique and spectacular physicality that cannot be substituted or reduced.Today, we encounter the city’s ineffable rhythms simultaneously through digital and physical means. Our digital devices enable a prolific capturing and disseminating of views; their steady glow reveals the energy that sustains them, and their darkened screens reflect the surrounding environment. The rhythm and choreography of our experience are enmeshed in the convergence of our digital and physical urban behaviors.This thesis addresses our changing relationship with the space of the city as we grow increasingly more captivated by the digital world. The four sites I have chosen collectively embody an experience of New York City. I propose a network of moments interspersed throughout the city––incidents of orchestrated view, light, and reflection that might preserve the irreducible nuances that enrich our urban experience, while engaging the duality with which we encounter the city today.