SCHOOL Parsons The New School for Design, Department of Architecture, Interior Design and Lighting, MFA Lighting Program
FACULTY Derek Porter, Kent Kleinman
STUDENTS Star Davis, Travis Watson, Phan Dung, Darlene Myrie, Chris Steffens, Glenn Fugimura, Jie Soo Tchah, Young Hee Min, Siriphot Manoch, Wanlop Chantarakolkit, Meghan Smith-Campbell, Eun Young Park, Dae Young Kim, Ching-Yu Lin
PROJECT A|L Light & Architecture Design Awards Banquet Table
LAMP TYPE 28W, 3000K, T5 linear fluorescent
MATERIALS MDF, clear plexi, and mylar

This table, commissioned for the dinner reception following the A|L Light & Architecture Design Awards Roundtable Discussion, held annually at Parsons the New School for Design in New York City, is a completely independent and extra curricular activity for students in the lighting design program. To pursue the table idea, students embarked on a two-week-long design/build charrette. "We wanted to explore individual settings that come together as whole," explains team leader Meghan Smith-Campbell. Knowing that the table is used for an event that seeks to bring students and design professionals together to encourage dialogue, the students used the idea of the individual setting as a metaphor for the table. "Everyone has a place in the profession, but each is unique," Smith-Campbell says. That being said the table had to accommodate 30 people, and the challenge for the students was creating an element that would appear singular but could be constructed in sections. The table's final measurements were 24-feet-long by 4-feet-wide.

Every detail of the table was thoroughly thought out from the types of springs, which activate each place setting when silverware, a plate, and a glass are placed on top of it causing it to depress and illuminate, to the use of the photometric chart of the T5 lamps inside the table sections as the abstracted graphic etched into the sheets of clear plexi, which serve as the table's surface. Even the selection of food and wine and water bottles were chosen for the way they would appear when illuminated.

The table's dynamic, yet soothing quality radiated a luminosity that transformed the space where the dinner was held, a gallery adjacent to studios, into a place devoid of time or specificity. Guests were treated to a moment of spectacle suffused with conversation as light served both literally and figuratively as the focal point for this annual event.