Project team:

Client: GoggleWorks Center for Arts, Reading, Pennsylvania/US
Architect: Olsen Design Group Architects
Lead artist: Lyn Godley
Concept design: Lyn Godley
Team: Studenten der Kutztown University, Art Dept. & Computer Programming Dept. students; International Brotherhood of Electric Workers, Local # 743


Products applied:

LED flex ribbon: icolor Flex SL, Philips Color Kinetics
Lighting control: Light System Composer, Philips Color Kinetics

05. Jul 2013

Thought Process
Linear light for the creative arts

Text: Louis Brill, Alison Ritter
Photos: Kevin Brett, Lyn Godley

The GoogleWorksCenter for the Arts (Reading, PA) is a community arts and cultural resource center and is the largest, most comprehensive interactive arts center of its kind in the United States. As an arts resource center its facilities are exceptional including 34 working art studios for professional artists, four art galleries, class rooms, a film theater and several dedicated art studios dealing with wood sculpture, glass, digital media, photography, jewelry and dance. Its stated mission is “to nurture the arts, foster creativity and to promote education and enrich the community”.

In the continuing operation of the GoogleWorksCenter for the Arts, it was decided that an extra touch was needed to enhance the building’s presence and that it would be done by adding a ‘touch of light.’ How that came to be was noted by Diane LaBelle the former executive director (2003 to 2010) of the GoogleWorks Center for the Arts, who described how the building’s exterior presence as an “early 20th century industrial looking brick building with lots of windows” did not exactly proclaim it to be the community art center that it was. In a collaborative effort, she contacted lighting designer Lyn Godley, who was with KutztownUniversity (Reading, Pennsylvania) at the time and is currently an Associate Professor of Industrial Design at PhiladelphiaUniversity, to submit a proposal to install a permanent light artwork on the front of the GoogleWorks building. Godley’s inspiration was simple: “to consider the building as if it was a canvas and could be ‘written’ on with markers of light”.

Godley’s approach to applying an illuminated finish to the GoggleWorks building was based on the premise of how artists develop their initial design ideas. Knowing that a lot of art begins with simple sketches or doodles, she decided to replicate these creative pencil lines into lines of light “doodles” that would cover the entire side of the building. In effect, Godley composed an illuminated doodle of linear light that represented the inspiration for the art that followed. Thus was born “Thought Process”.

There was also the caveat that the building was an historical landmark, which meant that nothing could be changed or added to the building façade. Any measures undertaken to enhance the building façade would have to emerge from within the building with the lighting components coming from the inside the windows. […]


The full version of the article can be found in PLD No. 88.

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