Creating More Dynamic And Interactive Spaces [Future Of Home Living]

Creating More Dynamic And Interactive Spaces [Future Of Home Living]

PSFK Labs looks at how programmable systems control the color, intensity and directionality of light to match a particular mood or task.

  • 11 august 2013

“Without light, there is no architecture, there is no space,” says Eric Freed of organicARCHITECT, a San Francisco-based architecture firm specializing in the intersection of biology and architecture.

In a trend from our Future of Home Living report we’re calling Lightscaping, which looks at how programmable systems can control the color, intensity and directionality of light to match a particular mood or task, or immerse people in an entertainment experience, PSFK Labs has identified the following examples.


The IllumiRoom is a proof-of-concept project developed by Microsoft Research that creates a media experience that maps on-screen activity to the surrounding surfaces of a room. Using Microsoft’s motion tracking Kinect camera technology, the IllumiRoom maps the appearance and geometry of a user’s room to adapt to projected visuals in real-time that correspond to the action taking place on the TV. For example, if a user is playing a game on the TV where a character is trudging through a snow-covered village, the IllumiRoom would project snow falling around the TV, creating a ‘hyper-screen’ experience with the aim of immersing viewers more deeply into the gameplay or storyline of a videogame or other form of entertainment.


Another manifestation of the Lightscaping trend is the Lighty system. Lighty is a digital interface that allows users to quickly and easily adjust lighting in a room by ‘painting’ in the areas they would like to have illuminated. Created by the Japanese Science and Technology Agency’s IGARASHI Design Interface Project, Lighty consists of a rig of bulbs installed on the ceiling of a space, whose brightness and orientation can be controlled through a computer. Using a stylus, one of five light settings can be applied to any area by drawing onto an overhead image of the room plan. A camera on the ceiling offers a bird’s eye view of the room, which is used as a plan in the control panel, capturing a live feed of the room and providing a real-time view of how the light is dispersed. The system aims to create an intuitive way to instantly create customizable and complex lighting patterns, with most of the work done by calculation and robotics.


Room lighting solutions such as the IllumiRoom and Lighty fall under a larger theme we’re calling Adaptive, which examines how customizable solutions for the home are being designed to accommodate a wider range of needs throughout the day and week, bringing greater functionality and flexibility to urban lifestyles.



PSFK has announced the latest in a series of trend reports. Following studies into retailsocial mediagamingwork and mobile, the PSFK Labs consulting team have generated the Future of Home Living report. That report manifests as a free summary presentation, an in-depth downloadable PDF and an exhibition in New York City that runs to August 16.

RSVP below to take a tour of the exhibition at 101W15th.


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