Lift, Interactive Lighting That Moves With You


Lift is an interactive lighting feature that senses and responds to human activity in its environment. Comprised of 24 geometric LED illuminated petals attached to a single spine, each petal moves up and down in response to motion it detects - subtly fluttering as someone walks beneath it or moving more dramatically in response to faster movements.

Lift uses a series of thermal sensors to detect nearby motion while an embedded microcontroller directs each petal’s movement, which is achieved using nitinol – also known as “muscle wire” – a shape memory alloy that shrinks in length when heated. The resultant motion, unlike that of typical motors, is completely silent and fluidly organic. Integrating interactive functionality into physical form as tightly as possible, Lift's spine is comprised of two parallel strips of brushed aluminum, giving Lift its physical structure while providing power and motion data to the individual petals attached to it.

Most notably, Lift uses computation as a design material, much the way you would use materials like stainless steel or glass, expanding the vocabulary of design. Lift introduces playful interactivity into an otherwise inanimate object that opens new possibilities for how we experience the spaces where we live and work. It also challenges us to consider an alternative narrative for our relationship to the digital world, imbuing our spaces with some of the richness, nuance, and immediacy we experience in the natural world.

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  • Year
  • 2016