Sandy’s Update #1: Light and Color Perception Manipulation

We’re halfway through the LOOMIA Creator Lab, and our designers are hard at work with their customization for the LOOMIA Electronic Layer.

LOOMIA Creator Lab Fellow Sandy Hsieh is experimenting with ways to augment color perception in garments. Below are a few highlights from her journey thus far.

Week 1

To start, Sandy researched light and the various techniques for manipulation including dispersion, polarized light, and birefringence.

Polarizing filters come in a variety of grades and rotation angles. For Sandy’s customization, she is combining linear and circular polarizers to disperse the visible color spectrum.

Below are a few materials she used for research:

  • Linear & Circular Polarizing Filters
  • Linear & Circular Polarizing Lenses
  • Polarizing Cellophane
  • Acetate
  • Color Filters
  • LED Light Source
  • Protractor
  • Gloves (for protecting filters)

Sandy’s initial proposal involved two parts:

  1. A top consisting of an underlayer enhanced with LOOMIA’s LEL to perform lighting with either white or RGB LEDs, in combination with a bustier tiled with a purposeful orientation of linear polarizing filters.
  2. A pair of sunglasses that encloses a circular polarizing lens and a linear polarizing filter. As the user toggles a rotating mechanism that rotates the linear polarizer, they are able to perceive color change in the bustier. The effect is also camera-friendly when the lens and filter is applied.

Week 2

The LOOMIA team and Sandy agree the materials research and concept lend well to a garment that involves motion. As such, Sandy revised the design to something akin to a running jacket. Marketing puns ‘run’ aplenty!

Running at the speed of light
Passing [the finish line] with flying colors

The LEL in this piece functions as the essential backdrop for illuminating the context of color perception. Sandy wants to demonstrate that color is not a property an object has or possesses, but rather a perceived phenomena that results from the interaction between light, the properties of objects, and how our brain interprets that information.

How we perceive color is relative to context.

Weeks 3–4

Sandy is currently collaborating with the LOOMIA team on circuit design to minimize the spacing between LEDs, which will help optimize the visual perception of color through the polarization of birefringent materials.

It requires multiple layers of materials.

Sandy’s pattern development and muslin prototypes

1st muslin from Week 2
Updated, slimmer, more athletic silhouette with LED panel placement

Stay tuned over the next few weeks for another update as Sandy advances closer to the final product!

At LOOMIA, our mission is to deliver comfort, safety, and confidence to the human experience by adding intelligence to everyday objects. One of our core products is the LOOMIA Electronic Layer (LEL), a smart textile layer that can be integrated into soft goods to perform heating, lighting and sensing functionalities.

With the LOOMIA Creator Lab, we’ve invited designers, engineers and the LOOMIA Product team to design a LEL customization for a brand that starts with user experience and functionality in mind.

We’re halfway through the program. Follow along as we near the finished product!

Cited References

Interaction of color
Josef. Albers
New Haven, Conn. : Yale University Press 2006

Isaac Newton Sir, 1642–1727.
London, Printed for W. Innys 1730

Colour : how we see it and how we use it
Michael M. Woolfson (Michael Mark), author.
Singapore ; Hackensack, NJ : World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd. 2016

Light and color
R. Daniel. Overheim David L Wagner
New York : Wiley c1982

Academic Journal
Complementary colours for a physicist
By: Babic, Vitomir; Cepic, Mojca. European Journal of Physics, v30 n4 p793–806 Jul 2009. (EJ844003), Database: ERIC


Polarized Light Explained + Experiments
Polarization, Rainbows and Cheap Sunglasses
Polarization Physics — AAPT Films
Circular Polarization
Polarization of light, linear and circular | Light waves | Physics | Khan Academy