Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category

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Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010

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A Marriage of Science & Design: Loop.pH

Wednesday, September 30th, 2009
Sonumbra by Loop.pH

Sonumbra by Loop.pH

Sonumbra by loop.pH

Sonumbra by Loop.pH

Metabolic Media by Loop.pH

Metabolic Media by Loop.pH

London-based research and design studio Loop.pH is bridging the gap between design and natural sciences, specializing in environmentally responsive textiles for the built environment. At its helm sit designers Rachel Wingfield and Mathias Gmachl, who marry traditional craft-based practices with cutting-edge technology and science.

One of their most recent standout projects is Sonumbra, an experimental series of solar-powered, tree-like structures that explore alternative sources of energy and low-cost lighting, designed to respond to the interplay and activity of the people orbiting the umbrella by casting a sonic shade of light. As Ms. Wingfield says, “Strands of light are laced into huge parasols with the potential to offer shelter from the sun by day and shed light for a local community at night using energy collected from the solar cell embedded it its canopy. We have been working with Riso DTU, the National Laboratory for Sustainable Energy in Denmark, with their printed, organic solar cells. These low cost, flexible cells become part of the architectural textile.” In some ways – specifically as eco-conscious, solar powered, community focused tree shaped lighting – Sonumbra reminds me very much of Ross Lovegrove‘s brilliant Solar Trees. However, much of Sonumbra’s magic also lies in the creation of an atmosphere of musical rhythms and luminous patterns – all determined by visitors’ movements in relation to Sonumbra.

An overlapping project called Metabolic Media has Loop.pH working with Riso DTU on solar cells for energy harvesting canopy. Specifically, Metabolic Media considers biomimetic architecture modeled on molecular structures and metabolism in living cells. Ms. Wingfield – also a research fellow at University of the Arts London, Central Saint Martins College – has liased with and responded to the work of Nobel Laureate Sir John E. Walker on the project.

Click here to learn more about Loop.pH.

All images courtesy of Rachel Wingfield at Loop.pH.
H/T Inhabitat