Disney has been promoting its Tron reboot for what seems like several years at this point. I’m not a sci-fi geek, but this movie has caught my attention for its crazy, intrinsic use of lighting effects to achieve the movie’s overall aesthetic.
My contention has been that the future of lighting is clear: just look to past sci-fi movies to see what the environments of the future will look like. Star Wars and Blade Runner are two prime examples of environmental lighting visions that have already come to pass.
The promotional imagery released so far for Tron is really exercising my theory that designers are more-and-more treating light as a material, not as some ephemeral, omnipresent “vapor” that lights up stagnant architectural pieces. Le Corbusier’s famous quote “Architecture is the masterly, correct and magnificent play of masses brought together in light” is becoming increasingly antiquated as the architectural masses themselves begin to emit light.
Combining this trend of exploring the materiality of light with the advances of parametric modeling, digital fabrication technologies, and ever-restrictive energy codes, and it becomes easy to see Tron as an accurate model of future lighting environments.