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Environmental Themed Bat Mitzvah
Environmental Bat Mitzvah

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Designing the Bat Mitzvah for the Environmentally Conscious

Green Design is Not Just a Product
Aerial Texture for An Environmental Themed Bat Mitzvah
Visual Dialogue by Jack Kelly | Photography by Jack Kelly
Urban Garden | Charlotte NC

Partners: Rogers & Gala
For a Promo Videoby Carolina Video Productions Click Here
For Short Video by Paul Emrick Click Here

Environmental Themed Bat MitzvahEnvironmental Themed Bat Mitzvah

Lighting Equipment
24 Chauvet COLORdash Par (25W)
6 Chauvet COLORdash Quad (57W)
6 Chauvet COLORado 3 (88W)
4 Chauvet QSpot300 (370W)
40 Chauvet LED Pinspot (3W)
3 ETC Source4 Leko + Rosco Gobo (575W)

Rigging Equipment
8 Altman 50lb Baseplate
4 Global Truss 12" Box (2m)
4 Global Truss 3'x3' Baseplate
16 Color Changing Chinese Lanter (2W)
Brown and Tan Lycra
2 Antari S-200 Snow Machine

For many, green design has unfortunately become of list of sustainable stamped products. Working with LEDs in production since 2002, I don’t believe the product can outweigh the design. I have often argued ‘efficient’ as a proper synonym for ‘sustainable.’ If a sustainable product becomes scarce then the demand for the product will have a negative impact due to excess production. Much of our current green dogma involves using byproduct & excess effectively. Green charlatans will banner outdated information & products no longer sustainable. As society & technology evolves, those products will change. Convincing everybody to be conscious of the environment was only the first step. Now that green is trendy, we must weed through green cons to find the truth. Our hope is that the wary will keep us informed about current sustainability. The green designer may follow global trends but his biggest impact will be sustainable use of his space. Carting excess props, décor, and technology to a space generates unnecessary client expense & environmental waste. When a sustainable product is unnecessarily used, the ‘brown’ design thwarts its sustainability adding waste.

Working with the native architecture and features of the event space provides an environmental landscape without having to manufacture and transport as much décor, saving gas, & construction. Instead of forcing design on a space, allowing the space to suggest it. Coming from a frugal family, I am accustomed to stretching a dollar. Green products may be more expensive, green design is often less expensive.

Environmental Themed Bat MitzvahEnvironmental Themed Bat Mitzvah

My first thought when familiarizing a venue is "what are the existing features" aka free decor. For scrumptious, indirect lighting, I look for uneven surfaces or native light boxes for uplighting: corners, textured wall treatments, brick, stone, vegetation, any shadowy surface, or light magnifying feature. For deliciously direct lighting large empty walls are great places for projections & lighting texture: water effects, video, gobos, or any complex visual display. Noting all key locations, simple lighting descriptions create client excitement. Many times the space was specified because the client likes the feel of the space. Expressing understanding of the intimate details of the space and the methods for accentuating its features, the client is often more confident in one’s creativity and efficiency.

Exploring Bank of America’s Urban Garden, Rogers & Gala desired creative solutions for their Bat Mitzvah. The theme was environmental awareness; appropriately the décor had to compliment its theme. The main thoroughfare lined with eight beautiful trees sits several feet below an upper deck. One side of the deck is a large smooth white wall adjacent is a large wall of glass offices layered with coves and trim. For the smooth wall, we used leaf gobos to create visual intricacy. The dark space glimmered from the wall washes below. The bottom of trim along a wall has the most surface area reflecting lights radiance. That underbelly of the trim has a neon effect visually stimulating and architecturally complimentary. To light layers on wall of windows the lights were pulled back from the wall about 3 feet. We discovered that distance by lying on the floor looking up on the wall. We pulled away from the wall till a generous portion of each wall jettison was visible. The light replaced the eyes location.

Environmental Themed Bat MitzvahEnvironmental Themed Bat Mitzvah

The dance floor was dark. Green and party friendly, dark spaces encourage dance, diminishing self awareness and inhibitions. If the space doesn’t require much light, the efficient choice is not to add unnecessary lighting. Stationed atop four truss towers, four moving lights added motion to the dance floor. Although LED movers are available they only cut the energy use in half. New to the market most production companies are waiting to determine reliability. When something goes wrong many times the result begins with burning rubber and fuel. The energy saved is lost to the unexpected mishaps from unfamiliar tools.

Each truss tower cradled four cane poles. Flush with the mover, the fiberglass shafts stretched into the air arching from the weight of a Chinese lantern. Covered by the paper orb, color changing light bulbs fluxed through shades of blue, aqua, green, and yellow. The weeping willow visual mystically morphed and floated through the atmosphere as the subtle air currents brushed the suspended lanterns. The total power draw for the 16 lanterns was 32 watts.

Environmental Themed Bat MitzvahEnvironmental Themed Bat Mitzvah

The main thoroughfare hosted the dining experience. The handsome greenery was enhanced with 3 uplights each. Bathing in lavender hues through dinner, the trees began to experiment with more colorful enhancements as the night progressed. The most important lighting element of any event is pinspotting the center pieces. The scenic treescape set against center piece illumination with LED pinspots, completed the design with modest power draw of 720 watts for 64 lighting fixtures.

The total power draw of the lighting was a meager 4800 watts for 99 lighting fixtures, in layman’s terms that is two outlets. The team effectively used every scenic element native to the space, creating an efficient design, lowering transportation cost and power consumption. Many are environmentally aware. They have a vision of their event and do not understand the environmental implications of their requests. Creative solutions to complete client specifications and innovative suggestions can help direct the earthly impact. Each event sets the standard for the next. Even influencing one minor part can have long term impact by redefining standards. Experience will help create the dialogue of persuasion; some clients choose the space because of location and have a desire to make the native architecture disappear. To keep peace, please don’t use guilt. It is not an effective means of communication isolating others. If you are excited about green design practice verbalizing its description, in time you are sure to influence your client base, promoting a more efficient use of resources and a greener earth.

Environmental Themed Bat MitzvahEnvironmental Themed Bat MitzvahEnvironmental Themed Bat Mitzvah
Environmental Themed Bat MitzvahEnvironmental Themed Bat Mitzvah
Environmental Themed Bat MitzvahEnvironmental Themed Bat Mitzvah
Environmental Themed Bat MitzvahEnvironmental Themed Bat Mitzvah
Environmental Themed Bat Mitzvah