Student Work

  • Lighting Design (MFA)

    Damian VanCamp

    The Collective View

    This thesis investigates the exterior courtyards created by New York City’s densely packed residential buildings constructed between 1900 and 1930. In these courtyards, there is potential to use electric light emanating from private interiors to explore and manipulate the use of view, proximity, privacy, and interactivity, to germinate environmental awareness and neighborly interest. Ultimately this should forge, strengthen, and sustain communal bonds.The final proposed intervention is a see-through two-way mirror with an integrated ball lens for every window facing a back alley courtyard. Mirrors are attached to ball-jointed arms with folding, telescoping, turn-and-lock levers, to control the arms from within apartments. Arms could be mounted to the façade just outside of each window, or built into and contained within each window assembly as a whole. This intervention capitalizes on the innate dynamism of the space, allowing tenants to discover new views of one another using nothing but the existing light from each apartment. Mirrors that jut out into the chasm of the back courtyard reflect this existing light, filling the void of the alley with what becomes an exterior lighting condition—a faceted mosaic of sparkle from the views and light of the surrounding communal microcosm.