The Physics and Aesthetics of Light
Architect James Carpenter and physicist Sidney Nagel (University of Chicago, Department of Physics) investigate the physics and aesthetics of light.
Jamie Carpenter is a distinguished architectural designer based in New York City. His multi-disciplinary architectural design firm, James Carpenter Design Associates, is motivated by a deeply held agenda that seeks to merge ecological and aesthetic goals by exploring the natural world to manifest its material, structural and environmental beauty in the built environment. The work is a synthesis of creative ideas and technical expertise that straddles the fields of art, architecture and engineering, while forging creative implementations of innovative technologies. Light in transmission, reflection and refraction as it is perceived, is the work?s initial inspiration, which becomes a guiding principal in designing a complete architectural project. The result is architecture that reestablishes and enriches the individual?s relationship with light and other natural phenomena within the urban environment.
JCDA has been involved in many projects. Among them are: the façade of the new World Trade Center 7 Tower in Manhattan; the entry portal to the Olympic Stadium in Sydney, Australia; the renovation of the Israel Museum in Jerusalem; as well the new lighting and pathway design across the Midway on Ellis Avenue for the Chicago Park District at University of Chicago.
Mr. Carpenter is the recipient of numerous awards, including a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship in 2004, the National Environmental Design Award from the Smithsonian Institution, and the American Institute of Architects Honor Award.
Ph.D., Princeton, 1974, Stein-Freiler Distinguished Service Professor, Department of Physics, James Franck Institute, Enrico Fermi Institute, and the College. Sidney Nagel's work has drawn attention to phenomena that scientists have regarded as outside the realm of physics, such as the science of drops, granular materials and jamming. Another area of emphasis is his attempt to understand the properties of disordered materials. A perfect crystal of a chemical element or a compound is composed of an ordered arrangement of atoms, but in a disordered system-a glass, for example-the atoms are in disarray. Disordered systems also exist on a larger scale, as with the sand grains in a sand pile. Nagel's honors include election to the National Academy of Sciences in 2003 and the American Physical Society's Oliver Buckley Prize in 1999.