Medialab Prado


Light, Space, and Perception: open call for projects

Open call to present proposals to be developed within the group around Light, space and perception led by Daniel Canogar, Julian Oliver y Pablo Valbuena. Deadline: November 30.

Paul Friedlander (27.06.08)

Light sculptures by  Paul Friedlander

This workshop/work group led by Daniel Canogar, Julian Oliver and Pablo Valbuena aims to conduct research and experiments with the use of light, projection, and visual perception in different settings, gathering people from fields including architecture, visual arts, urbanism, stage and set design, programming, physics, optics, psychology, and the physiology of perception.

As a continuation of the first stage developed between April and July 2008, now we start a new phase in which, in addition to the monthly sessions with invited lecturers, an open call is issued for the presentation of projects. Selected proposals will be collaborativelly developed in the form of prototypes, during two production workshops that will take place in January and March 2009.

Open call


  • Deadline: November 30
  • Publication of selected proposals: December 11
  • Call for collaborators: December 15
  • Presentation of selected proposals:  December 18 January 8
  • Workshops: January 9, 10 and 11 / March 20, 21 and 22  March 26 (lecture), 27, 28 and 29


The sun’s shadow is the earliest type of projection known to us, and Egyptian and Greek sun dials are the origin of controlled projection. With the advent of artificial light sources, controlled projections were developed, such as shadow plays and magician's illusionary techniques.
In recent history, controlled artificial light sources and their use in photography, the cinema, and moving pictures have multiplied new projection possibilities. These include the use of light as a material to the projection of moving images on a variety of surfaces: buildings used as screens, research in physics on the qualities of light or ways of altering visual perception through controlling light.

Purpose of the call

The purpose of this open call is to choose a maximum of seven proposals for the collaborative development of prototypes within the work group Light, space and perception led by Daniel Canogar, Julian Oliver and Pablo Valbuena.

In addition to the selected proposals, the instructors will also propose projects for their collaborative development.

The prototypes will be developed with the aid of this three instructors and the interested collaborators in the frame of two workshops with the following dates:

  • 8, 9 and 10 January
  • March 20, 21 and 22  March 27, 28 and 29

After this first stage or prototype building, some of them will be selected for their further development on a larger scale. This will be done through collaborations with other institutions and exhibition venues.

Core subjects:

  • Light and the city. Urbanism, media-façades, the fusion of physical and digital urban spaces.
  • Augmented Reality, the use of projections on three-dimensional surfaces and physical objects, the use of light as a material.
  • Set and stage design and the creation of atmospheres through the projection of light: perspective, optical illusions, etc.
  • Investigation of the qualities of our visual perception and its limits.
  • Development of new light technologies for artistic purposes.


The open call is aimed to architects and urban planners interested in the use of light in public spaces, visual artists,
set and stage designers, programmers (applications in real time, generative and visualization systems...), physicists and specialists in optics, sociologists, anthropologists, psychologists, neurophysiologists and other interested persons.

Assessment of the projects

Selection comitee will comprise Daniel Canogar, Julian Oliver, Pablo Valbuena and Medialab-Prado.

A maximum of 7 proposals will be selected based on the following criteria:

  • Innovative ways of working with light, space and perception
  • Clarity in the exposition of the project
  • Technical and logistical feasibility
  • Combination of various fields of knowledge
  • Willingness to collaborate with others in project development
  • Use of open software tools and licenses that grant access to the processes and the results


A forum will be avaliable for online work and direct contact between participants

Winners’ obligations

·The winning individuals or groups agree to attend the monthly sessions and the two production workshops in January and March 2009. They also agree to finish and document their proposed prototype, as far as possible.

· For building the prototypes, the wining individuals or groups may use equipment, pending prior application and approval. Any expense not previously planned or approved in material or equipment rental will be paid by the project authors.

· Prototypes carried out will be the property of their author(s), although whenever said projects are shown at festivals or exhibits, and whenever images of said projects are reproduced in catalogues or websites, their relation with the Light, Space and Perception work group at Medialab-Prado should be mentioned. The names of the people who collaborated in developing the projects should also be shown.

· Projects (or documentation about them) may be shown in Medialab-Prado website.

Entry constitutes acceptance of all contest rules.




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