Paper Light Project


“Architecture is the feeling you get when you walk into a space.” – John Ruskin

Project Goal:
In theatre, designers are often responsible for representing and/or eliciting emotions by manipulating the elements and principles of design. These include line, shape, form, color, texture, space (elements) and pattern, contrast, emphasis, balance, scale, harmony and rhythm (principles).
For this project, your task is to explore how the manipulation of paper in its various forms can assist in the development of different lighting effects and in turn can elicit a particular emotional response from the audience. Students will be asked to find five examples of paper luminaires on-line, to help generate concept ideas and choose a desired emotional response (angry, sad, happy, etc.). Once a concept is chosen, students will need to identify the color, texture and intensity of the light on a complimentary
“Concept Presentation Board,” explaining how the combination of light and paper is used to achieve the desired emotional response.

Project task:
1) Design a working tabletop luminaire using only paper and approved fasteners. Acceptable paper materials include copy paper, tissue paper, paper towels, paper bags, construction paper, packing paper and Paper Mache. Acceptable fasteners include gold brads, paper clips, bread ties, push pins, and staples. Other materials or fasteners may be integrated with permission of the instructor. Fasteners, if used, must be incorporated as part of the design. The use of adhesives is not permitted without permission of the instructor.
2) Design a “Concept Presentation Board” that includes:
o The name of your luminaire.
o Your design inspiration.
This may take the form of photos or simply bullet points of ideas. Include anything that helped you to settle on your current design.

2)Your design concept statement.
The concept statement should include a brief explanation of the lamping and construction techniques used to create the lighting effect and desired emotional response.
o An image of your luminaire.
o At least four images of the building process from beginning to end.
It is recommended that you photograph your progress approximately every 30 minutes.

The project is worth 15% of your final grade and will be evaluated according to the following criteria:

Design concept:
o What lighting effects are you trying to create?
o What combination of materials, placement, layering, folds, openings, reveals, shapes, and/or textures are used to create this effect?
o What emotional response does your construction technique create or evoke?
Emotional Effectiveness:
o How successful is the design of your luminaire in creating the desired lighting effect and evoking the intended emotional response?

o This includes the innovation of your selection and your use of materials and fasteners.

o Is the design clean and refined-looking?
o Is the structure sturdy and well put together?

Design process:

o What was the process of getting to the final design? Include sketches and study models where appropriate.





Goals: By the end of this course, students will be able to…

  1. Demonstrate basic skills in: pencil drawing, applied color theory, costume sketching, manual (hand) drafting, model building, and lighting analysis and conceptualization, and understanding sonic environments
  1. Demonstrate a practical understanding of introductory design history and theory
  2. Critically analyze visual design components in the context of live performance
  3. Analyze and interpret a dramatic text in order to devise a design idea
  4. Develop design ideas in a collaborative process and communicate those to others


Fundamentals of Design Syllabus

This course focuses on understanding foundational elements of theatrical design and developing the skills to translate text into visual content.  It involves an introduction to script analysis, visual and dramaturgical research, creative exploration and visual communication.”

–This is a lecture and demonstration course with an emphasis on creative projects and student presentations.

–This course introduces you to the basic fundamentals of design, which are the same for theatre, architectural design, and fine arts.  These fundamentals are important not only to a designer, but to a director, actor, stage manager, technician, and informed audience member.

–This course emphasizes the exploration process and communication tools that designers use to solve problems and communicate DESIGN IDEAS.

Studentfinalsyllabus2015.docx (2)

Practicum Rubric

A rubric for grading crew and project work. The rubric focuses the instructor/student discussion on encouraging behaviors that will help students be more successful in internships. This helps students understand the importance of their practicum work and makes criticism be seen as the teacher helping the student do better in the future.

Read More