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Student light show illuminates Little Building


The “Lumens” light display by Nicholas Lavella '12 graces the halls of the Little Building and can be viewed through November 20.

An Emerson student is causing smiles as students and visitors stare in amazement at his LED light display—all part of his honors thesis project—in the main foyer of the Little Building.

Nicholas Lavella ’12 says his project, titled “Lumens,” took several weeks to complete. It’s made up of 36 tubes containing 6 LED pixels that change color and take on different patterns in correlation with the motion of people walking below the display. The entire exhibition is suspended from the ceiling.

“It’s a culmination of a year’s work at Emerson,” said Lavella, an Interactive Media major who expects to graduate in December. “I did this piece to explore myself, go through the process, and see people’s reactions.”

So far, the reactions have been positive.

“I heard some people have redirected their routes to walk through the Little Building so they could see it, which is what I was looking for,” Lavella said.

“Lumens” is on display through November 20.

Lavella, a native of the Philadelphia area, plans to take on freelance jobs creating and setting up lighting displays for live events—something he’s done on and off since high school.

Last March, while working for Sparks Entertainment in Philadelphia, Lavella set up lighting and video for a Ying Yang Twins concert at James Madison University.

Learn more about Lavella and his work at

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