Dennis M Garvey W8
Dichroic foil, other than its application to glass facade of the UNStudio in Almere, has been used in a number of interior architectural elements such as light coverings, ceiling tiles, and wall partitions. The product (or one so strikingly similar that for my argument can be considered dichroic foil) has even seen use in few exteriors applications in the form of full wall and single unit overlays as seen in the images.
The product augments the space it reflects onto. It creates visual distortion, mystery, and obscure spatial relationships of light to surface. These characteristics are not so different than a material very familiar to us used in the great cathedrals around the world in our local neighborhoods: stained glass. Dichroic foil is different in that it creates a wider span of colors, also manageable, yet it can be utilized as a foil and not just an overlay. This gives opportunity for designers to push how they use the material to capture or apply dichroic foil to create space that is visual distortion, mystery, and obscure lighting.
This material is dynamic in the sense that it can resemble qualities of glass when overlaid, and also the augmentative properties of stained glass in one. This may pose a tricky yet stimulating challenge for designers looking to achieve such results. Dichroic foil, however, is not reinventing augmented space as I have hinted to earlier. Stained glass had centuries ago created “light that penetrated the interior of the 12th- and early 13th-century church took on a brilliance, even harshness, in contrast to the surrounding darkness.” This commentary by Encyclopedia Britannica on stained glass is an accurate description about the augmented quality that dichroic foil offers. In order to differentiate from stained glass, applications of dichroic foil might want to look to applications such as the Helix in IMU’s Ames Art School pictured below. Here, the space redefined by the colors that set into the normal glass that encloses it.