Interactive lamp

Is it art? Is it a machine? Whatever it is, it is glorious. It’s hard to describe Studio Toer’s light installation properly. But it is called Fiet, and it’s a reactive, interactive installation that responds to sound.

Fiet reacts to these external stimuli but changing shape. The designers speak of it in anthropocentric terms, describing its movement as skittish. It ‘gets nervous’ when it’s in a room and hears a door being slammed, for instance.

You’ll understand more when you check out this video. The back ground is that the interactive lamp is made of polypropylene cones that are connected to each other by small brass rings. This forms a translucent ‘skin’, spikes and all, that forms the creature’s outside.

Inside the light’s belly, a series of spotlights softly illuminates the surroundings. Microphones linked to small actuators shift metal rods inside the lamp, which changes its shape. The designers are pragmatic about their material choices.

Often working with textiles – easy to shape, move, cut and so on – they found that these did not respond well for Fiet. The object would shift but it wasn’t clear to an observer how. So the team tried other solutions. Paper cones worked far better to give shape to movement. But the acoustics and lighting were ramped up when they used polypropylene to form the cones.

Simple connections made this lightweight, light-transmitting ‘blob’ into an organic lighting module. And, like plants, children and the stars, it responds beautifully to a soft, gentle call.

Images and information: Studio Toer. The video is here.