Text: Tapio Rosenius

11. Feb 2015

New technologies open doors to new creativity

Natural light is in constant movement. Manipulated by the rotation of the planet, weather systems, nature, architecture and human activities, natural light ripples, shifts, flickers and dims. Intricate light and shadow patterns race across walls in our houses and sway and morph in front of our eyes when walking across a park. Why is it then that artificial lighting tends to be designed in such a boring static way?

Is that not the most unnatural light there can be? Light that has died and no longer sways with the wind or sparkles like the surface of the sea? At the same time our lives are becoming more and more demanding. We are continually confronted with the problems of the modern society, bombarded with data and events from the Internet, mobile devices and surrounding technology. We can say we suffer from information overload. Can light help? With new technologies and creative applications we believe we can create lighting that behaves naturally and enhance social cohesion through ambient communication. By harnessing biomimicry, sensing, computer vision and printed electronics with active lighting technologies we can create cyber-physical spaces that can be natural in their feel, meaningful in their application and enchanting in their emotion.

Cyber-physical spaces
One of the most interesting lighting applications of the future that clearly underlines the need for a deeply creative approach are cyber-physical spaces with connected light, advanced sensing and printed electronics. Such spaces sense the presence, actions and attention of their human users, effortlessly offering them information that is customised to their situations. They inform, soothe, entertain, relax, comfort, and provide high-quality light when and where needed. This, in turn, can have many significant effects – more independence for the elderly, positive health influences, energy savings and not least: the creation of a new platform for light art. Novel applications and new services are arising in important industrial areas, including the hospitality industry, architecture, and the public realm.[…]

Images: The participatory light art installation “Anonymous” by LcD was part of the Lux Helsinki light festival from 4. to 8. January, 2015.

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The full version of the article can be found in PLD No. 96

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