Artificial Canopy

Lighting of spaces is an issue we deal with daily, and if we are aware of it or not it plays a crucial role in how we perceive and behave in these spaces. A clear example of this was recently created by architecture and design firms Lava, Inbo, and JHK at Phillips Lighting Headquarters in Eindhoven, Netherlands. The material technology is meant to simulate the tree canopy of forest to boost productivity and cognitive performance in the workplace. The 1,500 opaque panels that constitute the canopy do this by mimicking leaves that naturally scatter and filter the direct sunlight down through the atrium. Most of the panels contain LEDs on their backside to add extra light where it is needed.

While all this new technology is neat, especially because it works, this is not the reason behind why it is revolutionary. Using low-level artificial intelligence that records the time of day, time of year and occupancy of the building, the system calculates an appropriate configuration for the panels.The idea that an environment can adapt to fit the requirements of humans is profound because for millennia humans have had to adapt the spaces themselves to fit our needs. This new concept has tremendous time-saving potential; for instance design spaces inside Rapson Hall are almost constantly being adapted to their current user’s desires. What if there was a system that recognized tendencies of the users and could prearrange the spaces accordingly? This highly increases productivity and can be put to use in many different industries which would ultimately speed up the development of humanity. This expanded development may eventually design something to replace this material technology that increases productivity even more, as is the nature of technology.

Works Cited

materia. “Philips Increase Workplace Productivity With a Light Canopy Inspired By Forests • Materia.” Materia. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Sept. 2016.

Grozdanic, Lidija. “Stunning Parametrically-designed Office Canopy Filters Golden Light – like Trees.” Inhabitat Green Design Innovation Architecture Green Building. N.p., 14 July 2016. Web. 15 Sept. 2016.

Photos by Jonathan Andrew

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