As a kid, I thought that the Lite Brite was a pretty cool toy. Sure it seemed really simple compared to the electronic talking gadgets and fancy things with LCD screens that were around at the time (remember, this was pre- home computers), but I was drawn to those illuminated pegs. Apparently, the folks at KANEKO felt similarly, as they chose the Lite Brite system as the basis for this interactive sculpture, and asked Jason Webb to make it happen.
If you look around at Jason’s build log of the project, you’ll see that he took his task very seriously. He decided early on that he didn’t want to simply build a big Lite Brite, but rather to expand on the concept adding in 3 dimensional space to the experience.
After his proposal was approved, he set to work actually building it, and I have to admit I was somewhat surprised by the complexity that hides inside a Lite Brite. Not only do you need a light, and a grid of material in which to insert the brightly colored acrylic dowels, you also need a layer to block some of the light unless a dowel is inserted. Thinking back, I guess the templates that you poked the pins through on the home version served this purpose.
Jason’s project turned out to be visually stunning and if you’d like to learn about any aspect of the construction, Jason shares it on his site. He goes into all the decisions he made on shapes, materials, and user experience, and there is a lot to learn from this structure.