About Janet Hansen
I build these illuminated objects to demonstrate the hypnotic powers of color-changing animated lights, and to inspire curiosity about how and why they were made.
I enjoy working with unexpected combinations of techniques, using sewing, soldering, painting, and a variety of lighting materials to build colorful pieces that do not follow the usual rules for static surfaces and shapes.
My design process combines a love of color and abstract spatial composition with complex electrical, mechanical, and software engineering. By adjusting the speed, contrast, or color choices within my LED programming, the same object can elicit a wide range of calming or energizing emotional reactions.
Janet Hansen creates illuminated mixed-media art, using LEDs with custom electronic controls and a variety of structural and diffusing materials. Formats include wall hangings and soft sculptures, as well as larger installations that allow the viewer to be fully immersed in the emitted light field. These designs often incorporate geometric patterns and other mathematical phenomena, and feature bright color combinations, including rainbows.
The LEDs display animated effects that encourage prolonged engagement, and may assist in visual meditation practice. Some modes are intended to be soothing and calming, with gradual transitions in brightness and color. Other effects are more dramatic or energetic, with pulses that move in response to ambient sounds or music.
Janet’s work reflects her life-long interest in merging art with technology. While pursuing a BS in Engineering at Harvey Mudd College, she minored in Art and began creating abstract geometric paintings with a hard-edge colorist technique. She went on to earn a PhD in Bioengineering at UC San Diego, and spent several years working in the aerospace industry. Some of her paintings from that time period are derived from her experience with computational meshes and finite element models.
In the late 1990s, Janet began to combine electronics with her costume-making hobby, and discovered her passion for wearable technology. She founded a lighted clothing company, Enlighted Designs Inc. , and became a specialist in fabric-mounted lighting with miniature controls. Over the past 25+ years she has developed the custom hardware, software, and installation techniques that she uses for mixed-media fine art as well as for clothing, costumes, accessories, and stage props. The wearable forms of her work are used by a diverse collection of international clients, including professional musicians, dancers, Broadway shows, and theme parks.
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Enlighted Designs, Inc
• Encinitas, CA • January 2000 - present
Owner, CEO, Fashion Engineer, LED Artist
· Designer and creator of illuminated clothing and mixed-media fine art with integrated electronic lights
· Wearable technology consultant
· Corporate clients include Disney, Cirque du Soleil, Royal Caribbean, Sea World, Nike, Adidas, Victoria’s Secret
Structural Dynamics Research Corporation, Advanced Test & Analysis
• San Diego, CA • 1995 - 2000
· Structural analyst specializing in static, dynamic, and thermal simulations of aerospace and industrial structures
University of California San Diego
• San Diego, CA • 1990 - 1996
MS, PhD, Applied Mechanics and Engineering Science/ Bioengineering
· Ph.D. dissertation entitled "An Elastic Network Model of the Red Blood Cell Membrane Skeleton"
Harvey Mudd College
• Claremont, CA • 1986 - 1990
· Graduated with High Distinction and Honors in Engineering
· Minored in Art, coursework included classes at Scripps College and Pomona College
2nd Annual Surfing Madonna Save the Ocean Art Show
• Escondido Municipal Gallery • Escondido, CA • Oct - Nov 2022
"Enlighted Rings 4", "Enlighted Rings 5", and "Enlighted Rings 6"
· Jurors Mike Redman, Cathy Carey, and Cheryl Ehlers, Surfing Madonna board members
· Awarded Best in Theme for Sculpture
• Escondido Municipal Gallery • Escondido, CA • April - May 2022
• La Playa Gallery • La Jolla, CA • April 2022
"Enlighted Rings I", "Enlighted Rings III"
· Jurors Cathy Carey of the Surfing Madonna Oceans Project and Vaughn Woods, owner of La Playa Gallery
Light and Shade
• Las Laguna Art Gallery • Laguna Beach, CA • April 2022
"Dark Hypnocircles" (online exhibition)
Hi Ho Silver
• Ashton Gallery @ Art on 30th • San Diego, CA • Oct - Dec 2021
"Enlighted Rings I"
· Juror Wendy L. Wilson-Gibson, artist and Executive Director of the Bonita Museum & Cultural Center in South Bay, San Diego
Surfing Madonna Save the Ocean Art Show
• Escondido Municipal Gallery • Escondido, CA • Oct - Nov 2021
"Froth Circle" and "Dark Bubbles"
· Jurors Mike Redman, Cathy Carey, and Danny Salzhandler, Surfing Madonna board members
• Ashton Gallery @ Art on 30th • San Diego, CA • Jun - Jul 2021
· Juror Kathy McChesney
William D. Cannon Art Gallery 2019 Juried Biennial
• Carlsbad, CA • Dec 2018 – Jan 2019
· Illuminated white faux fur panel with animated RGB LEDs, selected for group exhibit
· Jurors Robert L. Pincus of the San Diego Union Tribune, and Maria Mingalone of the Oceanside Museum of Art
Country Music Hall of Fame
Nashville, TN • July 2019 – June 2020
"All of the Colors"
· Exhibit honoring Kacey Musgraves, including LED boots and coat worn at the 2014 Grammy Awards
Experimental Realities: an Exhibition of Interactive, Responsive, Projected, and Animated Art
• Los Angeles, CA • June 2017
Art show at Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3)
· Group show included LED hat, LED tie, and first public showing of the Enlighted Comforter
• Los Angeles, CA • 2009 - ongoing
Daft Punk’s Illuminated Robot Suits
· Iconic suits from the band's Alive 2007 tour, and their live performance at the 2008 Grammy Awards
Voronoi Diagram - Evolutionary Space
• Hanyang University, Seoul, Korea • October 2005
· The First International Exhibition of Voronoi Art
· Featured right panel of Delaunay Triptych painting
Light Messages Collaboration with Ingo Maurer
• Milan, Frankfurt, & NYC • April – May 2002
· Performance art pieces created with world-renowned German lighting designer Ingo Maurer
· Featured clothing with scrolling text and graphics, with thousands of LEDs per outfit
America's Got Talent
• NBC • Semifinals and Finals • Sept 2022
LED props and costume lighting for Kristy Sellars, 2nd place winner overall
Flying Over Sunset
• Lincoln Center Theater • New York, NY • 2021
LED costume lighting with wireless control
Be More Chill
• Broadway's Lyceum Theater • New York, NY • 2019
LED costume lighting with wireless control
Cowboys Christmas Spectacular
• Dallas, TX • 2018 - 2020
Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders wearing 22 sets of LED jackets and belts at their holiday show
• Broadway revival and tour • 2016 - ongoing
LED costume lighting for Mr. Mistoffelees and Cassandra
New York Knicks City Dancers
• New York, NY • 2015
Set of 16 LED bodysuits worn for player introductions at home games
56th Annual Grammy Awards
• Los Angeles, CA • February 2014
Kacey Musgraves performing in LED boots, with band dressed in LED jackets
• Signature Theatre revival • Arlington, VA • Dec 2013 – Jan 2014
LED costume lighting for Electra
America's Got Talent
• Radio City Music Hall • New York, NY • aired in September 2013
Debut performance with LED jackets from The Rockettes' New York Spring Spectacular
Britney Spears: Femme Fatale
World tour • 2011
Finale dress with animated RGB LED pixels, LED harnesses for backup dancers
• World tour • 2010
Lead singer Matthew Bellamy performing in an LED suit
Home and Home Tour
• Detroit, MI and New York, NY • September 2010
50 Cent and his G-Unit crew performed in a variety of LED and EL wire costumes
MTV Movie Awards • June 2010
Katy Perry performing in LED shorts, bikini top, and sunglasses
Christina Aguilera performing in LED cape, gloves, and bodysuit
Coachella Music Festival
• Indio, CA • April 2009
MIA and backup dancers performing in costumes with full-body EL wire outlines
50th Annual Grammy Awards
• Los Angeles, CA • February 2008
Daft Punk performing in their signature robot costumes outlined in EL wire
Daft Punk: Alive 2007
World tour • 2007
Daft Punk performing in robot suits with red EL wire outlines, atop the pyramid in their encore
Broadway's Hilton Theatre • New York, NY • Apr 2006 – July 2006
Lighted shoes and cape for dance musical set to the sounds of Earth, Wind, & Fire
San Diego, CA • 2001
"Illuminated Nervous System" awarded Best in Show, and the Barry Brown and Dawn Divine-Brown Ibexa Press Technology Prize
The Body Electric
Beverly Hilton Hotel • Beverly Hills, CA • February 1998
"Dudes in Tubes" performance art piece, part of a wearable technology fashion show
• San Diego, CA • May 2018
Invited speaker on topic of lighted costumes
Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising (FIDM)
• San Diego, CA, August 2014 • Los Angeles, CA, February 2015
Featured guest speaker, 5 th Annual Innovative Materials Conference
Smart Fabrics and Wearable Tech Conference
• San Francisco, CA • April 2014
"Smart RGB LED Pixel Systems for Wearable Applications"
Init(together) Conference for Women in Information and Computer Sciences (WICS)
• Irvine, CA • April 2013
"Crafting Wearable Technology"
• Austin, TX • May 2012
"Technology and Fashion"
Smart Fabrics Conference • Miami, FL • April 2010
"Wearable Electronics for Illuminated Costumes and Clothing"
Intertech’s LEDs 2004 Conference • San Diego, CA • October 2004
"Wardrobe Malfunctions and Other Lessons Learned from Early Adopters of Illuminated Clothing Technology"
Multi-purpose illumination device adaptable for use as a button fastener. US Patent #6474830, issued Nov 5, 2000
M. Baker, J.C. Hansen, and F.M. Payne. Impact of Dynamics on the Design of the RL10B-2 Extendible Carbon-Carbon Exit Cone. AIAA 98:2013, 39th AIAA/ASME/ASCE/AHS/ASC Structures, Structural Dynamics, and Materials Conference, 1998.
J.C. Hansen, R. Skalak, S. Chien, and A. Hoger. An elastic network model based on the structure of the red blood cell membrane skeleton. Biophys. J. 1996 70:146-166.