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lighting night

Brooklyn Children's Museum  |  Lighting Design 

Collaborators: Jenny Hsin-Yi Chang, Jace Son, Shamysia Waterman

At the Brooklyn Children's Museum, Neighborhood Nature introduces children to the ecologies local to Brooklyn and the ways in which human-made and natural spaces interact. 

The lighting design proposed adds a layer to Neighborhood Nature to facilitate discovery of the vast changes in Brooklyn’s ecosystems throughout the day and night. Interactive features within the displays allow children to highlight animals active at various times, and will help them learn how each animal has adapted to function best during that time. Where no dioramas are present, lighting transitions reveal animals active at that time. 

While the dioramas are interactive and controlled by visitors, the overall exhibit lighting will undergo slow transitions between dawn, day, dusk, and night, filling the room with the mood of each of these transitions.  


The exhibition contains 5 ecosystems, but this example focuses specifically on the beach.


Three lighting scenes will slowly fade from one to the next, each corresponding to a specific time of the day. The color schemes evoke the mood of that time, and interactive features encourage children to explore which animals are active at that part of the cycle: diurnal, nocturnal, or crepuscular. 

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Lighting Final_Behance Version (1).png
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Throughout Neighborhood Nature, children encounter displays of animals in various ecosystems of NY. This interactive feature will allow visitors to reveal diurnal, crepuscular, and nocturnal animals separately. 

Glowing buttons with icons indicating these three phases will be at each display throughout all exhibits for children to interact with, ensuring children who are unable to read can still access the information. 

display cases


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Microtrack systems are mounted vertically and horizontally, each with beam angles specified to suit the animal that is illuminated. 

Microtracks are recessed behind walls to hide them from the visitors. 

Displays are lit with light from the room outside when no one is interacting. Children may press glowing buttons indicating time of day to reveal animals that are active at that time.


After 20 seconds, lights will fade back off so visitors may choose a new setting or may move onto the next one. Scene transitions from the rest of the room add variations of color and mood to the displays. (5).gif
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