For my thesis, I decided to learn new skills and explore creating something functional while using the knowledge I've gained through graphic design over the years. In the beginning, I knew I wanted to make a lamp or design a lighting brand. But wasn't sure what the lamps would look like and what would make them different. After a process of trial and curiosity, I focused my energy into crafting one lamp and designed a user manual to be paired with it.
The Y-Light is a solar powered lamp that charges a lithium ion polymer battery and runs using a Circuit Python code on a Adafruit FeatherBoard. The light is made up of neo-pixel light emitting diodes. The lamp is inspired by the structural form of the letter “Y.” First, I soldered and coded the mechanical parts of the lamp. Then, I cut the wood structure using a table saw and miter saw. After that, I jointed it all together with a biscuit jointer and glue. I created inlays for the solar panel and the lights using a mill machine. For the concrete base I created a wooden mold with metal rods for screws to later go through. Finally, I illustrated and designed the user manual.
Take this as an opportunity to learn something new or combine different skills you've learned at your time at MICA. Don't just use your graphic design skills.
Use the amazing facilities at MICA! I highly advise using the screen printing studio, the vinyl cutter, the digital fabrication labs, the library, and the Epson scanners. You will miss them once they are gone!
Also, don't be afraid to stay after class and pick your professors' brains. They are all very knowledgable and are one of the best resources at MICA.