These beautiful trees made of light are called SonUmbra and they were created by the London-based design firm Loop.pH for the Design and the Elastic Mind exhibition at the MoMA. SonUmbra trees are completely solar-powered and serve a dual purpose: shady shelter during the day and public light sources by night.
“Imagine an outsize parasol planted in an African village. By day, it offers shelter from the sun: by night, it sheds light for the local community using the energy collected in solar cells embedded in its canopy. It’s clever, it explores a new role for textiles, and it shows concern for the planet. In short: an eco-friendly solution to a pernicious modern problem.”
While the ultimate purpose for these futuristic trees is to function as light sources in towns and villages that cannot afford electricity, during development it became clear that SonUmbra could also be used as interactive art installations:
The model that stands in Mowbray Park, Sunderland, is designed to react to the activity of people in the surrounding area. As visitors move around the structure, the light emitting patterns react to the sounds and movement and create an awe-inspiring geometric light show. The designers say, “Wandering unaware or actively gravitating towards Sonumbra, each person plays a part and becomes a note in a unique composition of light, sound and space.”
Watch a SonUmbra demo video here.
[via My Modern Metropolis]