Posted in communication and networking, electronic imaging and displays, Illumination, Optics

LEDs for peace

The Beijing Olympics ran a very tight ship and did not allow many protests or even unsanctioned entertainers to appear near the events. One of the few protests that was able to be seen, even if for 20 seconds, was the Free Tibet banner hung out by U.S. protesters associated with Students for a Free Tibet on a wall near the Bird’s Nest stadium. They made the banner using “throwies,” traditionally LED lights with a battery taped to a magnet that are thrown onto buildings to create light-up designs and stay lit for a couple of days until the battery dies. Directions on how to make them are available here. As the article points out these protestors technically sewed the LEDs onto the banner, so would they be called “sewies”?

The protestors were arrested and then released on the Monday after the Olympics were over.



Beth Kelley is an applied & digital anthropologist with an overall interest in how people engage with and are impacted by their environments and vice versa. This has manifested itself in many ways, by looking at creativity, playful spaces, built environments, and environmental enrichment, sustainability, design research, and integrative and collaborative models of learning such as through play and hands-on learning.