menu

Radically Rethinking Boundaries Using Light [Future of Light]

Radically Rethinking Boundaries Using Light [Future of Light]
culture

Lighting is being deployed on-demand to demarcate new spaces and accommodate multiple use-cases.

PSFK Labs
  • 29 september 2013

Lighting typically blends into the backdrop of our day to day existence, providing a level of functional utility that is often only noticed in its absence. But as a new frontier in lighting emerges, designers and artists are experimenting with how light can be used to define boundaries within a space and do so on demand.

In a trend we are calling Bound By Light, PSFK Labs has identified several ways in which designers are exploring the use of light as a substitute for physical boundaries, helping to change the way people perceive their surroundings. By taking advantage of the precision and controls offered by lighting and projection technology, these explorations are redefining human interactions within a space, creating flexible environments which accommodate a host of activities ranging from fun to functional. Ed Bakos, managing director at Champalimaud, tells us, “Lighting clearly can emphasize both the space or it can be used to highlight an object. You have to think about how you’re going to construct the room as a three‐dimensional illuminated experience, because the surfaces that you’re creating are really only meaningful if light hits them in a certain way.”

1-ASB-Glass-Floor

One example of this trend is the ASB Glassfloor in Germany. It’s a sports surface made from glass that uses hidden LEDs to switch between different court markings at the touch of a button. Created by the German glass company ASB Systembau, the court’s combination of translucent glass and hidden LED channels can be switched on and off to create boundaries and markings for a range of sports. In addition, the LED technology can enhance the experience for spectators by displaying things like score, statistics and team colors directly on the playing surface. The floor is designed to emulate hardwood courts with the added advantage of flexible lane lines and markings for multi-purpose gymnasiums.

1 ASB-GlassFloor_1

In our conversation with Winka Dubbeldam, principal at ArchiTectonics, she explains,“There is no architecture if there is no light. You can create a space just with lighting and you can play and change the space with lighting rather than having to change the space by rebuilding it. I think light as a physical boundary is a much softer and more friendly approach to boundaries in general.”

2 United-Visual-Artists-ÔÇô-Vanishing-point

Another example of this trend comes to us from the art world. Vanishing Point is a concept that speaks directly to the idea of ‘soft’ and ‘hard’ boundaries. The art installation explores the idea of ‘light architecture’ and use of perspective as a way to redefine and represent a particular space. Created by the London art collective United Visual Artists, the installation projects laser lines from a single vanishing point onto a dark room, creating volumes and divisions that reshape the experience of the physical space. The beams of light frame new boundaries within the room, allowing the audience to interact with the space in an entirely new way. Sound is also incorporated into the space by sampling the ambient noise generated by the lasers.

Vanishing Point and the ASB Glassfloor point to the novel ways in which light can be used to redefine a space on demand. Lighting installations like this could demarcate areas for street performers and taxi stands, or indicate designated areas for certain activities without the need for physical boundaries being constructed.

These examples also fall under a larger theme we are calling Enlightened Communication, which explores solutions that investigate the way light can be used as a communication tool, either visually conveying information through color, design and frequency or as a medium for transmitting data over distances.

The Future of Light series explores light’s potential to improve lives, build communities, and connect people in new and meaningful ways. Brought to you in partnership with Philips Lighting, a full report is available as an iOS and Android app or as a downloadable PDF.

culture
Trending

How Indiegogo Is Becoming An Adult Product Destination

Retail
Home september 23, 2016

Watch This Fire Pit Dance Along To Your Favorite Song

Music City Fire is a system that is designed to flicker in time to ambient music

Automotive september 23, 2016

Slick GPS Navigator Gives Directions To Moped Riders

This small, round device attaches to a sideview mirror to display maps for safer traveling

Trending

Get PSFK's Related Report: Future of Automotive

See All
Home september 23, 2016

A Clock That Beautifully Manages Your Information Overload

The wall-mounted timekeeper is made to help people maintain focus and stay up to date with their appointments

Arts & Culture september 23, 2016

Performance Piece Blends Dancers Into Folds Of Light

The work provides commentary on the increasing connection between programmed and analog dimensions

Related Expert

Terry Rieser

Media Production

Design & Architecture september 23, 2016

Design Firm Adapts Childhood Homes For Unemployed Young Adults

The studio has unveiled three prototypes of transformed living spaces for people forced to move back in with their families

Health september 23, 2016

These Chocolate Squares Claim To Reverse The Aging Process

A group of researchers from Cambridge University have developed a candy bar that promises to give you a youthful glow

Cities september 23, 2016

Food-Producing Architecture Competition Seeks To Better Feed Cities

A design challenge in Copenhagen highlights the need and beauty of urban farming

PSFK LABS REPORT

Future Of Automotive
Scenarios Driving The Digital Transformation Of An Industry
NEW

PSFK Op-Ed september 21, 2016

Everything I Know About Leadership I Learned Teaching 7th Grade Math

Bree Groff, Managing Director at NOBL NYC, shares her secrets for knowing your employees and enabling a team

PSFK Labs september 22, 2016

The Future Of Work: Why Innovation Is Every Employee’s Job

PSFK Labs sits down with management at Johnson & Johnson to learn how the company comes up with their next ‘big idea’

Health september 23, 2016

Wearable Monitors Sun Exposure To Prevent Sunburn

The clip monitors UV rays to make sure you're not receiving too much sunlight

Op-Ed september 23, 2016

Productivity Expert: The Magic Of The Five-Hour Workday

Stephan Aarstol, Founder of Tower Paddle Boards, explains why the modern notion of office hours needs to evolve

Culture september 23, 2016

This Exhibition’s Crowning Jewel Is An 18k Gold-Plated Toilet

The piece, titled 'America,' is meant to raise questions about the country's wealth inequality

Culture september 23, 2016

Match Up With Dates On Tinder Based On Your Music Preferences

A new partnership with Spotify lets people pair up based on shared tastes in artists

Entertainment september 23, 2016

Capture, Cut Up, And Configure Your World In 360 Degrees

To meet a booming 360 and VR video-capturing industry, a multimedia software company bolstered its media editing suite for 360-video creation

PSFK LABS REPORT

Future Of Work
Cultivating The Next Generation Of Leaders
NEW

Advertising september 23, 2016

These Trucks Drove Around In Circles For 24 Hours To Keep Time

The giant ticking clock was created by 14 Scania vehicles in a deserted airfield

Advertising september 23, 2016

Buy Movie Tickets Directly From Your Facebook Profile

The new feature is part of a campaign from Fandango to further imbed social media into the ticket vendor's digital presence

Asia september 23, 2016

Co-Working Space Brings The Calming Atmosphere Of Nature Indoors

An architectural firm in China has designed a new type of shared office that prioritizes the natural environment

No search results found.