Using and controlling light can change the perception of a place; users perceive and feel the space differently depending on factors such as the type of light switch, color variations, and combinations. When used in temporary installations, light can break the boundaries between art and architecture, and also between tangible and intangible, transforming the elements of the project and creating new shapes and patterns.
Led: The Latest Architecture and News
With the aim of creating immersive environmental experiences in interior spaces, the design studio Aqua Creations has developed Manta Ray Light, a lighting installation built with responsive RGB LED technology that mixes the colors red, green, and blue to generate more than 16 million light tones. By presetting its color spectrum, offering a range of brightness settings on a scale of 0.1 to 100%, and even loading images and videos into its internal memory, the system allows its user to add color and movement to expressive spaces, or deliver a feeling of warmth and concentration to intimate and private rooms.
Choosing the right lighting for any space can be a complex decision. Considerations need to be made with respect to the purpose, form and function of the lighting application. Design and aesthetics also play a role in the equation. With so many options for lighting on the market, it takes specialized knowledge and understanding to determine the best fit for your space. Even more challenging than finding lighting for a generic space, an art gallery or museum application can be difficult and even overwhelming to light properly. LED lighting has simplified a large chunk of lighting for art display.
Carefully designed or relegated to its mere functionality, lighting can be a determining factor in the quality of a space, influencing the way it is perceived and inhabited by the user.
Although it has been considered an object independent of most architectural elements, lighting often interpenetrates walls, ceilings, and floors, disappearing almost entirely to make its radiance appear only when the user needs it. How do you subtly illuminate a structure, while simultaneously creating an impressive atmosphere?
The project, a piece of suspended light, is built by metal profiles and a ceiling where the warm and white light of a series of LED strips is projected, in the quest to represent the basic visual language of the line.
This modular design developed by the students of the Department of Architecture Sciences at Ryerson University proposes a public space to sit and relax that works as an extension of the walkway, appropriating and giving a new meaning to the parking spaces in the streets of Toronto.
The project, with a natural wave form, is built by a series of Accoya wood modules, which allow easy storage, reuse, and reconfiguration.
Japanese designer Michiru Tanaka has released a new product partnering with lighting manufacturer Kaneka to create a stainless steel tile that doubles as both an OLED and a mirror. A graduate of Tokyo’s Musashino Art University, Tanaka pursued a career in architectural lighting and her projects range from commercial installations, lighting at museums as well as product design. Coined “Kumiko,” the tiles come from a fusion of inspirations, ranging from traditional Japanese architecture and woodworking techniques to Manhattan’s gridded cityscape.
Cocoweb - a lighting source that combines classic design with modern, energy-efficient technology.
As environmentally-conscious design becomes more and more sought after in the fields of architecture and interior design, the use of LED lights becomes an essential part of an eco-friendly building’s creation. Southern California-based lighting company Cocoweb, inspired by this notion, offers all their products integrated with LED technology. The classic light fixtures that the company started with are all customizable, so the colors of the shades, bases, and arms, as well as the arm and shade styles, are interchangeable.
The connection here is plain and simple: bad coworkers, bad architecture, perfect pair. It's not uncommon for architects to take inspiration from the human body, but consider these eight pairings to be what would happen if your least favorite coworkers were reincarnated in building form.
In this video, members of the engineering team behind the the world’s largest LED screen explain the process behind its installation on the facade of the Burj Khalifa last year. The massive screen required 72 kilometers of cabling and 10,000 connectors to cover a total area of 33,000 square meters.
“We faced sandstorms, we faced rain, we faced heavy wind, so quite often we had to wait until we had a good slot in terms of wind to go out and do the installation,” says Senior Project Manager Kris Vloemans.
The screen has been utilized for a range of different shows since it was first used to ring in the New Year in 2015. Earlier this year, the Burj Khalifa sent out an open call to artists to submit their own dynamic designs to be displayed on the building facade.
Also check out some videos of the screen in action, below.
BIG Architects has designed an inflatable mobile pavilion to be displayed at three Danish events, including its original site at the Roskilde Festival 2016. Known as SKUM (Danish for foam), the structure met the challenge of creating an installation that has the ability to be both permanent and fully transportable by creating a whimsical, bubble-like form that can be blown up in just 7 minutes.
Three decades ago the Hongkong and Shanghai Bank (HSBC) Headquarters by Norman Foster emerged onto the architectural seen as an exemplary product of industrial design. The open layout with its exposed steel structure generated a powerful corporate identity for the bank. But the restrained atmosphere of white architectural lighting and the lack of distinctive façade lighting has lost its attractiveness after sunset. Now the colorful and dynamic relighting presents a remarkable example of how an architectural icon has shifted from a productivist ideology towards a scenographic image. To the western observer the multicolored light language may give off a playful impression, but to the local culture the transformation evokes grandiosity.
The Burj Kahlifa has been the world’s tallest building since 2009, and last year the Dubai-based supertall broke another record by implementing the world's largest LED-illuminated facade. Building on these accomplishments, Minus5 Architects in collaboration with Studio Mr. White, has proposed using LED technology to create scale silhouettes of architectural monuments from around the world on the facade, including the Empire State Building, Beijing's CCTV Tower, London's Shard, Toronto's CN Tower, Taipei 101, the Petronas Towers, and others.
Though it was once an essential element of all classical structures, the frieze has largely been left behind by architects looking for contemporary façade systems. But at the recently-opened addition to the Kunstmuseum Basel, designed by Swiss architects Christ & Gantenbein in collaboration with design group iart, the frieze returns with an eye-catching, technological twist, as hidden pixels within the facade light up to display moving images and text to those below.
How will our buildings change when your mobile device can receive huge amounts of data flowing from the luminaires above you? Not only has LED brought us a highly efficient light source, but a promising instrument for visible light communication (VLC) as well. Therefore light will not only be a medium to support vision, but it will also be an essential means of data communication. With the low energy consumption of LED one can even set up luminaires without mains cables for the power and just install Ethernet cables. Welcome to the world of digital lighting.
There is arguably no aspect of architecture in which science is more influential than in the realm of lighting; from the florescent bulbs of the late 19th century to the LEDs that only became truly viable in the past decade or two, advances in the science of creating light have been quickly followed by architectural experimentation. In this excerpt from her book "Superlux: Smart Light Art, Design & Architecture for Cities," Davina Jackson recounts the tremendous advances made by lighting in the 20th and early 21st centuries, and looks forward to the next frontier - that of "smart lighting."
Today’s smartest lighting innovation has no need for machine-generated power. Simply fill a clear plastic bottle with water (plus bleach) and silicon-seal it through a hole in the roof of any rudimentary shelter. Behold: daylight floods the dark interior.
PET bottles for conducting radiance, solar-powered LED lamps for night visibility and satellite-enabled smartphones to exchange instant knowledge globally: these are the 21st century’s keys to illuminating billions of people living rough in settlements. Like the original campsites of London, New York, São Paulo and Sydney, some of these slums will become great global centers.
Global companies often exploit architectural icons to transform physical form into their desired brand reputations. To help achieve this goal, after twilight, the natural qualities of buildings have often been supplemented by architectural lighting, as the facades call unmistakeably for attention with their colorful and dynamic illumination. Representation has become the leading motivation for upgrading the lighting at headquarters and retail outlets. But when the illumination evolves into spectacular gestures, the brand identity and architecture itself starts to fade. Hence, the struggle for individuality has revived the discussion about ornament – though ornament appears now as light.
Is there a designer who does not dream of the perfect lighting concept, which conveys a feeling of well-being and shows the architecture at its best? Unfortunately, however, it is often the case that the brief received from the client causes difficulties. All too often discussions are peppered with such terms as LEDs and lux levels,causing an unconscious shift in thinking in the direction of norms and technology instead of placing questions about requirements and lighting quality at the centre of discussion. But what exactly is quality lighting design?