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Published: 8 Jun 2018

New Design Concepts Play with Natural Light

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Nathanaël Abeille & Carlos Muniagurria, Reflective bricks

Consumers are feeling a greater disconnect from natural environments as the world becomes increasingly urbanised. As an antidote to the lack of natural light in urban spaces, designers are finding innovative ways to enhance or artificially replicate daylight in our homes and built environments. Here are three exciting examples.

  • Driven by a concern over the lack of natural light in city dwellings, French designer Nathanaël Abeille and Argentinian materials specialist Carlos Muniagurria have developed a process of metalising common bricks in order to reflect sunlight in built-up areas. Coated in chrome and nickel alloy, the bricks could be used to divert and share sunlight between buildings in dark urban streets.
  • Presented at Milan Design Week 2018, Japanese designer Yuji Okitsu’s Focus installation enhances natural and ambient lighting in interior environments. The mobile-like sculpture consists of a number of flat glass lenses that hang from the ceiling. These capture, collect and diffuse light from all angles, creating an ever-changing lit space that brings the nuances of natural daylight indoors.
  • Based in Zurich and Marseille, design studio AATB showcased the Sunny Side Up robotic sun at Milan Design Week 2018 – a contemporary version of the traditional sundial. The conceptual installation features an illuminated robotic arm that orbits around a metal rod, casting a shadow as it goes. The moving light embodies the movement of the sun in real time and aims to reconnect the viewer with the rhythms of daylight. See Lamp Imitates Natural Light Indoors for a similar concept.

For more on the positive impact of natural light on our wellbeing, see Natural Relations within our Materialising Modern Work report, and Supernatural Light in Transformative Spaces.

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Yuji Okitsu, Focus
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AATB, Sunny Side Up
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