Getting LiTT with Versalume| The Glass Age | Corning

Getting LiTT with Versalume

Versalume’s Light in Transformative Technologies workshop brought together artists, engineers, and architects for a brilliantly inspiring experience.

Brilliant bursts of inspiration come in all shapes and sizes – whether it’s your typical light bulb or a slim, bendable strand of Corning® Fibrance® Light-Diffusing Fiber lighting the way. But inspiration – and development – doesn’t happen in a vacuum. It takes collaboration, expertise, and a willingness to step out of the box to find the right answer. A combination Versalume knows quite well.

What started out as a bare, open space with white walls and a few tables, transformed overnight into a spectacular lighting show filled with designs, concepts, and products all featuring one brilliant solution – Corning® Fibrance® Light-Diffusing Fiber. Acting as the star of Versalume’s Light in Transformative Technologies (LiTT) workshop held in New York City, Versalume brought together artists, architects, and technologists for two days of hands-on crafting, creating, and collaborating with Fibrance technology.

“We wanted to bring artists with a creative focus and engineers with a technical focus, put them into teams, and then leave them alone,” said Mario Paniccia, Versalume CEO. “The intent of this workshop is to learn new things about Fibrance.”

With the help of Project61, an interdisciplinary innovation consultancy “dedicated to interdisciplinary and collaborative use of art, science, technology, and engineering,” the interactive workshop tested the limits of Fibrance technology and expanded its capabilities beyond the tech space. With a focus on discovery, the teams embraced the opportunity to “flex different brain muscles” and view a technology such as Fibrance fibers in a new light.

“During an ideation process, at Project61, we think it’s important to tap into different disciplines,” said Maureen Chung, Project61 co-founder and chief research officer. “For this workshop, we connected Versalume engineers with artists and encouraged them to exercise a part of their brain they don’t usually exercise. That’s when the real ideation happens.”

Teams of artists and engineers began collaborating nearly one month before meeting in person for the workshop in New York City, learning about the capabilities of Fibrance technology and integrated solutions from Versalume, and imagining how they might take the brilliant products to new levels and applications. And with a blank canvas as their starting point, teams could take any approach they desired – all in the name of discovery and creativity.

“In our line of work as architects, we’re usually contacted to find a solution to a problem,” said Caleb Mulvena, co-founder of Mapos, an architecture and design studio, and participant in the LiTT workshop. “But today, Fibrance is a solution to an unknown problem – it’s a solution in search of a problem.”

Mulvena teamed up with Mapos colleague, Colin Brice, and found the size and weight of Fibrance technology as potential game changers for the architecture industry.

“What I really like about Fibrance is its scale – it’s very small and thin,” said Brice, Mapos co-founder. “And it’s a lighting technology that produces little heat, which is very important.”

While Brice and Mulvena focused on architectural applications such as a lighted door handle, the workshop invited designers, artists, and others to find a problem Fibrance technology could solve or enhance in their line of work.

Dutch artist Nicky Assmann who focuses on light, space, and movement found inspiration in the bright colors and flexibility of the Fibrance fibers. Assmann and her team took the bendable, brilliant Fibrance strands and wove them into a sculpture similar to a Mobius Strip.

“The flexibility and tactile nature of Fibrance allows you to sculpt with organic shapes,” Assmann noted.

Over the course of two days, creativity flowed and brought some imaginative, creative ideas to life. From a mirror vitrine using Fibrance technology as a potential lighting solution for retail windows to a shoe with Fibrance fibers woven into it that lit up in a different way depending on how the user stepped, the application possibilities spanned numerous disciplines.

“The tones of the two days were distinctively different,” said Spencer Klubben, Business Development manager. “On the first, the architects and artists seemed to ask ‘What do I do with it?’ whereas the designers and artists on the second day seemed to ask “How do I make this work?”

But no matter what question the participants answered or what problem they tried to solve, Fibrance technology and Versalume’s integrated solutions proved to be innovative solutions for many industries.

“By putting Fibrance technology in front of both artists and technologists, we’ve all been able to think differently about how the product could be applied,” said Paniccia. “I’m inspired and encouraged to see where Versalume and Fibrance head in the future.”

And while this may only be the beginning of ideations for where Versalume heads with Fibrance technology, it solidified the fact that the combination of collaboration, expertise, and a willingness to step out of the box truly can inspire brilliant possibilities.

“It’s crucial for us to bring groups like this together,” said Klubben. “For us as technologists, we need to understand how humans interact with our technology, and what better way to do that than working together with those who will bring Fibrance to light.”

Want to learn more about the LiTT Workshop? Check out Project 61's video!

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