signs & the city

i've always found it pretty interesting that at night, the shapes and spaces in the city become so much defined by lights--street lights, vehicle lights, neon store lights etc. in particular, the way store signs created moving patterns by alternating certain lights between on and off fascinated me as a kid. the patterns were always repetitive, but i came to memorize them and associate certain patterns with certain signs. maybe it's the same principle behind the hypnotic power of blinking lights...

signs & the store

we probably know most of our favorite stores by the things they sell or the people inside, but when it's a store we've never been to, our first impression comes from the exterior appearance of the store. at night, however, most of the exterior of the store becomes hard to see, and the store has to rely on some kind of lighting to attract attention, and many stores have done this using neon signs. thus the sign becomes another definition of the store, basically, the way the store communicates with viewers from far away.

signs of life

so i thought, since stores often become known by their signs, and since most lighted signs are either static or use repetitive lighting patterns, how would a store be known if its sign could actually be manipulated by customers? what if the sign was aware of approaching people? there are certainly many ways to go about designing a sign that's aware of surrounding people, and i chose to create a prototype of a sign whose lighting changed when the user actually moved certain things, e.g. turned the doorknob...but if i had time to expand this project, i'd consider other user-aware things like motion sensors

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