April 18, 2012

Rethinking lighting

OK, before I can really write anything more I have to apologize for my extended absence. I went on vacation a few weeks back, then got really busy. And during this time other members of the Clover family have been practicing posting their stories and messages. This is something I’ve been really excited about, because as we grow and my job continues to evolve, I feel some of the most important stories of our journey are missing from the website. So a huge thanks to everybody for bringing to life the little excitements and travails we meet daily.

We’re working on the next generation of Clover design. Trucks, restaurants, and other ideas. It’s been a long time since I’ve talked seriously about design. So I thought it might make sense to do a little series on design. I’m talking here about visual, architectural, and experiential choices.

I’ve wanted to play with light at Clover since day one. Early experiments included the awning that never happened, the funky ceiling at MIT with the now defunct LED lighting “wave.” Our giant windows are a play on lighting. In the restaurant we designed our own “cloud” light fixtures, we’ve recently changed the color of the lights a few times at HSQ. Our entire restaurant at HSQ is built around a giant skylight. Our largest expense at the HUB was cutting open walls to add giant windows. You get the idea.

What’s next? One idea is a backlit Clover logo on the front of the trucks. This is something I’m really excited about. I think we’ll pioneer it at the new PRK truck. At night I want the trucks to glow, to draw you in. Right now I think they look ambiguous at best, like utility trucks at worst. So we’re going to play with lighting them up  a bit. This will be the first treatment of any sort we’ve done to the “face” of a Clover truck. I’m really excited.

I’m planning to use our giant stencil to get our logo in place. Then I’m going to cut it out with my hand-held jigsaw (which works really well WITHOUT the metal blade, use the WOOD blade instead). Then I’ll glue some translucent plastic to the back of the logo and illuminate it from behind with LEDs. I think it’s going to be amazing. I’ll put up some updates as the work is being done.

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