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Camera Lucida in the 21st Century

Image courtesy of Pablo Garcia

Associate Professor Pablo Garcia, who teaches in the School's Contemporary Practices and Architecture, Interior Architecture, and Designed Objects departments, has managed to raise over $300,000 dollars in a Kickstarter campaign for his revival of a famed 19th century optical device.

Camera lucida, a drawing aid that utilizes refractions from prisms to help artists draw scenes more realistically, was first modernized by Garcia and his partner Golan Levin, who is an associate professor at Carnegie Mellon University in 2013. NeoLucida's initial crowdsourced run of 11,000 raised $425,000 to bring back the device, which decreased in popularity due to the rise of photography in the late 19th century. Now, with a larger viewing area and better light control, the NeoLucida XL has raised $301,724 on Kickstarter—nearly 20 times the intended funding goal.

“Despite the technological world today," Garcia told Grace Gu of Chicago Business Journal [the success of the campaign] shows there’s still this desire of putting pencil on paper.” 

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