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Luminarium is a dynamic lighting system that draws inspiration from the latest studies about the biologic effects of lighting, specifically in the context of modern living environments.
Extended exposure to artificial lighting caused by modern lifestyles has deep consequences for our biological clock, naturally trained by evolution to adapt to its surroundings following the dynamic effects of daylight.
The daylight component reflected by the atmosphere generates variations in wavelength emission throughout the day, as the sun changes its position in the sky. Those variations synchronize the secretion of melatonin, the hormone controlling the sleep/wake cycle. At the same time, natural daylight provides resetting cues: constant, extended stimuli in the background like the slow play of light and shadows during the day. These resetting cues bring restorative benefits from directed attention fatigue, reducing cognitive stress and improving concentration performances.
Luminarium performs a 12 hour lighting cycle in which an indirect emission (reflected by the ceiling and obtained mixing three different t2 fluorescent lamps) changes color temperature throughout the day: a warm and relaxing morning light (3000°K) slowly becomes cold until reaching the peak of 6000°K in the beginning of the afternoon, turning warm again to mark the natural sunset. As color temperature changes, a dynamic LED spotlight describes a subtle movement in the environment, a light halo describing imperceptible changes in the surroundings. The exposed gears transmit and slow down the motion of a stepper motor, while reminding the intricate delicacy of early clockworks and the dynamism of kinetic art.
Markus Kayser, like so many humans before him, is fascinated by the sun. The 28-year-old German has made a name for himself designing objects that harness, or mimic, the flaming star at the center of our solar system. For example, the project that launched Kayser’s career, Solar Sinter, used a solar-powered 3D printer to shape objects from sand in the Egyptian desert.
At the opening of Design Miami/Basel on Monday, Kayser introduced LIGHTzeit, another project based on the effects of the sun. But unlike Solar Sinter, LIGHTzeit seeks to recreate natural light in an indoor setting, artificially.
Commissioned by W Hotels as part of their Designer of the Future Award, Kayser’s chandelier looks like a humble fluorescent tube mounted on a rotating fixture. But as the tube light slowly rotates, the tone and brightness of the light change to mimic the natural conditions outside. The tube will have made a full 360-degree revolution by the time the day is over.
There’s also a geographic component to the piece. On the floor next to the light, a halved metal globe stands on a pedestal. A lasercut map of the earth is mounted inside - point its metal hands at a particular location, and the light adjusts to mimic what time of day it is there. Kayser, who is heading to MIT for a Master’s program next year, describes his work as an attempt to overcome the conflict between nature and technology. He’s hoping that LIGHTzeit will bring a little of nature’s spontaneity to artificial environments.
“Most artificial light sources are entirely static,” explains the designer in a brief. The idea with LIGHTzeit (which will hang in W Hotel properties), is to replicate “how natural light constantly changes through motion, intensity and color rendering.”
- Graphic Design
- Industrial Design