Internship at the MIT Museum Studio & Compton Gallery

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MIT Museum Studio & Compton Gallery

In the summer of 2019 I helped out at the MIT Museum Studio and Compton Gallery as an intern, a studio for students of the Art in Vision and Neuroscience and Paranormal Machines class at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. I helped out with small tasks such as soldering and laser cutting to create demo lights, remade the entrance animation, tore down an exhibition to prepare for a new one, and designed signage while the exhibit was under repair.

Among the tasks that I accomplished during my time at the gallery, my two favorite ones were probably creating the demo lights and working on the entrance animation.

Demo Lights

In preparation for the upcoming school year, I was asked to make a complete version of a makeshift demolight that had already previously been produced, which used LED RGBW chips, a LUXDrive FlexBlock, and a few slide potentiometers:

Parts List

After having communicated with the studio managers to get an idea of the design they wanted, which was to be 3D-printed, I set off to put together a protype for the lights, beginning with the planning phase:

The first sketch

The second sketch

And then to create a 3D Model of the product:

3D Model

Unfortunately 3D printing turned out to be too expensive, so what we came up with instead was to use layered laser-cut pieces of acrylic locked in place with large threaded wires. After a few more hours of planning and measuring, I was able to figure out a way for the parts to fit, using a modular plate system:

Pieces

Once assembled, the flashlights worked and to my suprise all of the parts fit perfectly into the laser-cut frame, which gave the product a professional look!

Finished Product

Entrance Animation

At the entrance of the studio there is a monitor that displays an animation to show passersby that they were looking into the MIT Museum Studio. Since the monitor was being reconfigured, I was asked to remake the animation for the studio, based on a previous one that played with a text layer in between two sheets of dots, creating an interesting effect. I experimented with scale, rotation and more to create interesting effects for the animation.