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Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL

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lightmodulator – Nick Rich

  • On July 17, 2006

nick rich

Lightmodulator is a series of projects by Architect Nick Rich which work with light and the phenomena of moments in time where light and the materials it lands on or passes through create magical transformations of space. His initial research has been to understand the sun's movement and the changing quality of light it gives. Analysis of the sun's movement can be found on his website portfolio 'sun studies' and 'daylight – information from the sky'.

 nick rich

Nick explains "I moved on to experimenting with light modulation through different media. The process of making the media; be it a grid, lense or refractor and observing the effects, puts you in direct contact with light in a similar why to making shadow puppets or playing with your shadow. It is this interaction between us and light which I find interesting and which I'm trying to build into my work."

The Sun-Space Modulator

 nick rich

In the 'sun-space modulator ' sunlight is be filtered through a series of layers onto a mist. The installation is designed as a panel, like a skylight, installed above the heads of the viewer. Three layers modulate the light in different ways.

nick rich

The first layer is an array of mirror elements, 529 of them each orientated to catch the sunlight at a given moment. Below the mirror array is a kind of grid which acts as a selective venetian blind only letting a small amount of light through at a given time. Each hole through the grid is orientated slightly differently to allow light to pass through at a specific range of times in the sun's calender. The third layer is an array of prisms each one aligned to the opening in the grid above. These work to disperse the light into the spectrum. The modulated light will then be displayed on a fine cloud of mist and should appear as a series of rainbows each on with a different orientation. Nick recent work has started to explore the scaling up of these principles to create large communal public spaces that are mediated by the seasonal changes of the sun and moon.

 nick rich


  1. Rachel Green

    This guy is a genius!

  2. michael

    very interesting and impressive work.
    well done nick. i’m sure we’l be hearing more from you in the future

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