Jaffe Student Production Competition Wraps Up Its Inaugural Summer

By Inside Rensselaer

October 30, 2015

Standing in the middle of the Studio 1 black box at the Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC), Ute Besenecker says, “There’s no better space to do this work.” In four corners of the room, the Ph.D. architecture candidate and her small undergraduate research team have constructed isolated light environments consisting of curved screens, heavy black curtains, and a rig of different overhead lights. “Most studies happen in labs and light boxes,” she says of the way architectural lighting research is normally conducted, “so you can’t actually stand inside the environment.” Yet, with Studio 1 at her disposal, “it’s actually possible to do an architectural-scale study.”

Besenecker’s study is called “Beyond Appearances: Investigating Preference and Neural Correlates for Colored Light of Similar Chromaticity” and was conducted this summer at EMPAC with full funding and technical support courtesy of the Jaffe Student Production Competition, a first-of-its-kind opportunity extended to all Rensselaer students to support research contributing to their field of study. Following an open application process that began in fall 2014, two projects were selected from a range of proposals, drawn from every school on campus. The other winning project was “A Generative Opera for Reconfigurable Realtime Performance and Assemblage” from Ph.D. arts candidate Ryan Ross Smith.

Read the full story at Inside Rensselaer.