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Kinetic Shadow Installation

Two-layer shadow model test. Potgieter, R. Unit 17. 2020.

Ruan Potgieter




Gregory Katz, Nico van Loggerenberg



This project looks towards a deeper understanding of and experimentation with light and shadow. We live in a dappled world where light and shadow can inform and transform spaces and landscapes through different shading opacities, material textures and patterns that change and reconfigure over time. How people perceive these spaces are relevant to the amount of light and shadow within that space. Each individual perceives space differently.

Kinetic Shadow Installation studies shadows and how they can be cast using recycled synthetic materials to re-create the effect of dappled light and shade that is seen in nature. The project explores how various conditions of light and shadow pervade open spaces and change the appearance of open public spaces.

One of the major design influences in creating a Kinetic installation was the concept and theory of Yin and Yang, a Chinese philosophy meaning: two principles (light and dark in this project) whose interaction influences the destiny of things. The philosophy’s visual connotation to balance, its movement and opposite qualities all played tribute in the construction process of a kinetic shading sculpture. The project uses architecture to bring balance to light and shade to inform and evoke different perceptions of the individual to public spaces.