Thursday, October 29, 2009

Project 2991: 3D Models

Using Google Sketchup and Podium programs, we've inserted our design proposal into the Bemidji Regional Events Center space, to get a real sense of how the piece would interact with its surroundings.

Take a look at our online presentation file.

Click here for the Project page.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Project 2991: Videos

Another look at the prototype that Fire Farm is presenting to the Bemidji Regional Events Center. These videos demonstrate the potential for this as a kinetic piece; ambient air currents rhythmically move the seven suspended rings.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Project 2991: Sneak Peek

Fire Farm is working on a design proposal for the Bemidji Regional Events Center in Bemidji, Minn., and we're so excited about the way this project is unfolding that we want to let you in on the action as it happens. We're working on videos, 3-D models and more, so look for updates here on our blog, as well as on our Facebook page, starting next week.

Can't wait for next week to find out more?

Take a look at our in-the-works online presentation file.

The Prezi presentation is in rough-draft stage at the moment, but so far highlights local Bemidji influences that are shaping Adam's design. We'll be working on it over the weekend, and since the Prezi presentation is live, you'll see the most updated version as soon as we click "Save". Click here to see it.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

How to Decorate Like it's 1956, part 2

[This is a recurring post dedicated to highlighting snippets of "Chapter 7: Lighting" from Fire Farm's copy of the Better Homes and Gardens Decorating Book, published in 1956. To see all posts from this series, click here.]

This week's advice extols the virtues of valance lighting, complete with an illustration that is simply the cat's pajamas. Neato canito!


Round-the-clock lighting

"Adequate lighting is especially important in decorating--you've spent hours in matching colors, so give those colors enough light to enjoy them. At night, let some of the principal lights come from about the same direction as the light did during the day.

Cove or valance illumination retains the luminous daytime look of window fabric and blinds. If you're in an older home, you probably need more circuits for laborsaving machines, so plan for eyesaving lighting, too. Talk it over with an expert--for safety's sake, wiring should be done by a professional."

[Better Homes and Gardens Decorating Book. Des Moines, IA: Meredith Publishing Company, 1956. Print.]

Thursday, October 1, 2009

LED Solutions

Recently we were involved in a project constructed of perforated stainless steel sheet metal folded into a rectangle-shaped form to wrap around a column. The perforated metal was selected to create a transparent sheer effect around a core white acrylic box. The acrylic core was to be lit using fluorescent tube T5 lamps, selected for their even illumination and energy efficiency.

In production we thought we had addressed the challenge that the fixed length of the T5 lamps represented by incorporating an adjustable sliding fixture that would allow us to overlap two bulbs to exactly the right length to fill each of the segments perfectly.

This worked out to be an effective solution and would have been successful if we hadn't been working with such tight tolerances on the core acrylic box. The narrow width of the core box meant that the off-set fluorescent tubes were located an unequal distance from the edge of the box. This generated a long linear "hotspot" half the length of the fixture (see photo below). 

Two more inches in width of the acrylic box would have resolved this inequity by providing enough distance for the light to even out before it came into contact with the acrylic diffuser. With a ship date mere days away we had to figure out rather quickly how to overcome this optical challenge.

Our solution came in the shape of LED light strips. LED light strips are relatively new to the market and still significantly more expensive per watt than equivalent fluorescent solutions, but in the right application they can be a real asset.

This was a perfect situation to deploy this newer technology and the result was uniform light within a very narrow space. We were able to correct for some of the 'coolness' of the LED light by adding a very thin mylar diffuser which added just enough warmth to bring the LEDs into a more pleasantly-perceived color range.

Sometimes last minute surprises can be extremely frustrating, but we seem to always find new solutions in the challenges they bring. The final product was quite mesmerizing as you walked around it. The perforated metal shimmered as the overlapping planes of holes created ever-changing moire patterns. Click here to go to the Custom Project page.

Jim Walch of Fire Farm

What do you think? Have a comment?
Click "Leave a comment" below.