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Design and Development

The design of Crystal Tributaries is composed of three parts. 

  • The outermost layer is a tessellated pattern folded out of one-way mirror film. This takes the form of a refracted folded service made to mimic the reflection of water that has been illuminated with light. This form was born through rigorous folding techniques rooted in origami. This form was decided on because of its manipulability, flexibility, and its ability to contract to change the way it catches light. Furthermore, the one-way mirror generates a sense of transparency when light is shined on it, creating an illusion that the form is not there. Underneath this layer, more opaque tessellated pieces are placed throughout the installation to play with the reflective nature, giving the illusion of changing depth in the installation. 
  • The second component is the lighting scheme. This is comprised of roughly two dozen LED string lights arranged in a winding pattern. TouchDesigner serves as the conductor of a light orchestra of sorts, creating a flowing light pattern that changes color and speed to match the currents of the Three Rivers. In TouchDesigner, video feed of sparkling water was hyperfocused and edited. This is mapped using the LEDs, creating the look of sparkling water. 
  • The fourth component is a mirrored base. This served as a platform to mount the installation on, but also served to create a sense of volume and depth. In employing the mirror, Crystal Tributaries doubles itself, and viewers get a view of the installation from the outside and within at the same time. 

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