“The whole concept of the fashion timeline and the way the story was told with lighting was a perfect match.” —Juror Likhitha Rangaswamy, Oculus Design Studio, Seattle
About Time: Fashion and Duration, an exhibition by stage designer Es Devlin that ran Oct. 29, 2020, to Feb. 7, 2021, at The Costume Institute, of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, traced 150 years of fashion along a disrupted timeline to honor the museum’s sesquicentennial. Tillotson Design Associates brought the concept to life through a ticking clock motif in the form of custom linear LED markers accompanied by an audio reel of rhythmic ticking that guided visitors down a dark hallway. These graphic lines continued into the two exhibition galleries, totaling 9,800 square feet.
The first gallery was dark, with the linear LEDs punctuating the ceiling plane and display plinths. At the center was a swinging pendulum illuminated from above by small framing projectors. By contrast, in the brighter second gallery, mirrored panels depicted the infinite nature of time, as the lighting ticks continued their rhythmic spiral. Throughout each exhibition space, carefully shielded point sources and surface-mounted accents highlighted the fine detailing of the sensitive garments on display, all in accordance with strict conservation requirements.
Project Name: About Time: Fashion and Duration
Location: New York
Client/Owner: The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Lighting Designer: Tillotson Design Associates, Suzan Tillotson, Erin Dreyfous, Amanda Arikol
Exhibition Designer: Es Devlin
Photographer: John Bartelstone Photography; Lucas Blair Simpson / Aaron Fedor (SOM) Photographer
Project Size: 9,800 square feet
Project Cost: N/A
Lighting Cost: N/A
Watts per Square Foot: N/A
Code Compliance: N/A
Lighting Product Manufacturers: Q-Tran, Ecosense, Flos