Team Jonathan

Antonio Villegas – The rising souls cemetery

In Mexican tradition death is not considered as the end. Our ancestors viewed it as a transition to eternal life. They believed that the way you died dictated your final resting place. If your death was related to water, you would go to Tlalocan, the place of the god of rain, Tlaloc. The bravest of all, a warrior who died in battle or a woman who died in childbirth, would go to Tonatiuhichan, a solar paradise. And if you died in old age, you would go to Mictlan. Mexico continues to be a place where tradition and beliefs are kept alive, and death is just as important, socially and culturally – it represents everything from a celebration to a main pillar in religion.
Normally, visiting a cemetery is not a good experience due to all the stereotypes which have been associated with the act of death. We view it as a dismal and depressing experience which can even cause terror. Most people will never visit a cemetery at night because of this.
The purpose of this project is to break down those stereotypes, to create a specific design for tombs supported by lighting design to represent the souls of the deceased, as well as change the perception and experience of visiting a cemetery, transforming the dismal atmosphere into one of peace and tranquility.

Antonio Villegas is an architect who is passionate about light, art and history. His creative work entails taking care of every detail, and ensuring everything leads to an optimum result. He studied Architecture at Universidad del Valle de Mexico before starting the Lighting Design course at Universidad Nacional Autonoma de México (UNAM). He has work experience as a Project Manager, developing and updating drinking water supply and sanitation system projects, and as a Project Assistant, developing architectural drawings and models. 

Egle Prokopaviciute – Light and empathy. Light as a guide to immersion in public spaces

The phenomenon of light is fascinating for its multifaceted character. In the field of design, far from being a mere source of light, it has a wide range of not only aesthetic, but also therapeutic qualities. From the theoretical perspective I underpin the importance of these qualities for human wellbeing. Meanwhile the practical-speculative approach suggests ways of research and application of the benefits and potential of light in the field of public lighting design. I take the concept of empathy in the design process with the goal to get as close as possible to the subjective user’s experience. The presentation will outline how light affects and creates atmosphere, and how an expanded view on the human senses relate to such immersive, environmental stimuli. The application of light and colour and their therapeutic effects within the urban realm are explored though a range of hands-on, speculative and analytical design methods.

Egle Prokopaviciute gained a Bachelor of Fine Arts at Vilnius Academy of Arts, before studying Lighting Design at Edinburgh Napier University, from where she recently graduated. She is now embarking on a Master in Design at Vilnius Academy of Arts. Egle has participated in exhibitions in Edinburgh, UK, Kaunas and Vilnius, Lithuania and participated in workshops on atmosphere, light and shadow or kinetic objects to broaden her horizon. She has work experience in stage design, set design, event lighting design and festival management. 

Svetlana Degtiareva – Developing a sensory jacket, reflecting human emotions via bodily senses

Think of how you felt, when you were happy. It can even hurt sometimes, as if you were literally over the moon! Indeed, it is a well-known fact that emotions we experience sink into our minds and resonate inside our body as fond (or unpleasant) memories. To be honest, we never truly know how they reflect, since sensory feelings are the only thing that we hide inside ourselves hoping no one will interfere with such personal impressions. Developing an interactive jacket that can reveal inner emotive echoes is an attempt to ask yourself – how can bodily senses and emotional memory give you away and enhance our emotional interpretation in a social world.
The project uses base layers comprising sensors and LED strips with pixel addressing. This layer shows sensory stimulus in detail in the form of a matrix. Pulse and temperature sensors control body parameters and send values to the controller. These are then transformed into coloured LED light, revealing an overall image on the outer surface of the diffuse material.

Svetlana Degitareva holds a Master’s degree in Creative Lighting from ITMO University. Her academic career began at the University of Cinema and Television, where she gained experience in image processing, making videos and working with analog cinema projects. There were many opportunities to take part in scientific conferences held by the University. However, Svetlana found she had more ambitions than to be an engineer in the field. In addition, she was interested in actually creating lighting effects, which led her to begin thinking about designing with light and eventually to registering for the CLD course.