Design, Build, Test, and Instrument a Prototype Artificial Sky
University of Idaho Seed Grant
This proposal seeks funding to design, build, test, and instrument a prototype low-energy artificial sky. Preliminary work on the project has been unfunded (including a UI Seed Grant application last year). Last semester 20 graduate students in a lighting research seminar, using scale model skies, explored the design options for creating a passive low-energy artificial sky that uses the natural sky as the light source. They discovered two viable options, one that offers improvement in light distribution and quality as well as lower energy use than electrically lighted artificial skies. With seed grant support we will design and build a full-scale prototype (~10' x 10') of this improved sky for temporary installation near AAN and eventual re-installation at our new interdisciplinary design laboratory on campus in Moscow—a hands-on research project for a group of architecture and interior design students. The prototype sky will become a lasting instrument for succeeding cohorts of faculty and students to use in their design studio work, research, and (potentially) consulting. Our results will be disseminated widely via conference paper presentations and journal articles to the academic and professional design communities in the United States and internationally.