My name is Erica and I am a 21 year old lighting design student from Sweden. I study Lighting Design at Jönköping University, and I got the amazing opportunity to do my internship here in the US with Hartranft Lighting Design, and Andrea Hartranft. In this series of blogposts you will follow me and learn about my experiences here in the US.
In the Neighborhood
One of the projects we have been working on this week is right across the street from my condo here in Rockville. It feels more hands on in a way. I see the building every time I step out the door and that makes it so much easier for me to visualize how it will look when it is lit as we propose. Two of my tasks this week have been to make some visualizations in Photoshop and do drawings in CAD. We draw our fixtures in the drawings from the landscape architect and from the architect and then the engineer gets the drawings to execute them. It is very exciting to be a part of this process.
In the past weeks I have met several rep agents and that has been very valuable to me. I appreciate every approach on lighting design that I can get because I always learn something. I love technology and have seen some really cool fixtures and poles that combine lighting and technology. Some had integrated billboards, charging for electric cars or even emergency buttons. I think this is a great way to combine two different functions to create a better and safer city. Another good thing about meeting reps is that I get an insight into their work. It is nice to know that there are many different variables with lighting design and we can all learn from each other.
I have talked to several of my classmates to see what they are doing on their internships. One friend of mine is doing his internship in Scotland, some are in Stockholm, Malmö and Jönköping. We are everywhere! They all seem to be having a great time and I think everyone has different tasks and that really shows the versatility of this profession. I get bored fairly easy but I don't think that ever will be a problem when I work as a lighting designer because you can have so many different assignments
Binary and Solitary Measures of Time
Of course I have done some sight seeing this week as well and I have to tell you about this fabulous museum I went to. The Renwick Gallery swept me off my feet! So beautiful, intricate pieces. So much love and time has gone in to those pieces. They had one installation that was made of LED strips that was programmed with the binary system of 1s and 0s telling each LED when to turn on or off. This creates a beautiful sparkling effect and the impressive thing is that it will never look exactly the same due to the way they have programmed it. Lighting can truly be a work of art!
I have always appreciated alone time but during these four weeks I have come to love alone time. With this said, I also love to spend time with my family, friends and to meet new people but I like the freedom of doing things alone. I can walk around at the Renwick Gallery for two hours if want to, go to every shoe store there is and drink coffee whenever I want to without anyone complaining, even if I try the same pair of shoes on three different occasions. I think it is important for us to be confident in being by ourselves.
It dawned on me this week that I only have two weeks left here. Two weeks! I have got a routine here now and it will actually be a change to go back to Sweden and especially going back to school. I have not been in school since before Christmas, that is almost three months. I am really looking forward to the two coming weeks but I think that they will go by very fast.