Constellation is design to create a similar language between Galileo’s Pavilion and Johnson County Community College’s (JCCC) campus as well as a feature that can relate to Dale Eldred’s Galileo’s Garden. The idea of having a mass of pinpoint lights came from experiencing Leo Villareal’s Microcosm installation at the Nerman Museum’s main entrance.

The initial estimate for this fixture was $10,000 using traditional LED bulbs, reclaimed lumber an donated steel tubes. Out of the $10,000, about $9,500 was the LED bulbs. With a small budget allotted for this light fixture, I had to reduce the number of bulbs needed and use fiber optic strands to redirect the light from the bulb through the pinholes in the plywood. The down side of this is that fiber optic is fairly expensive.

I pitched the design to Jeff Chen, a local LED designer and vendor, who wanted to help see this fixture become a reality. Jeff designed a 3W LED bulb with a fiber optic coupling system that can produce enough general lighting. Jeff, knowing the project’s tight budget, committed to donating all the LED bulbs and spools of fiber optic which guaranteed the production and installation of the fixtures.

The final fixtures uses 3W LED bulbs and 1.5mm fiber optic as the light source and raw steel for the frame and housing. The steel plates are perforated with a 4″x6″ grid for the lounge and a 6″x6″ grid for the vestibules creating a sense of hierarchy in the spaces. The name, Constellation comes from the atmosphere the fixtures create in the spaces at night.

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