Howeler Yoon Architecture of Boston has produced several concepts and installations that explore very unique and innovative applications for lighting.
Their “Hover” installation integrated lighting into the base of organically deformed, conical-shaped diffusers. Each diffuser consisted of an outer translucent layer and an inner layer of Mylar, with the intention to reflect additional light into the small solar photovoltaic panel on the inside of the conical shape. They created an interesting test installation use LED rope light (see image below). A more robust hardware design could be readily developed for permanent installations and the concept could be extended to larger scale urban plazas, or condensed into an intimate interior ceiling structure.
Their “White Noise | White Light” installation for the 2004 Athens Olympics included a grid of fiber-optic stalks to create an interactive pedestrian zone. Each stalk reacted in light level and noise level when someone brushed through them, creating dazzling patterns of movement.
Their 2005 “Low Rez HiFi” installation at the entrance to an office building in Washington DC is a two part design: A small cluster of vertical towers interacts via touch at different heights to product different musical sounds and light effects, while a series of interactive walls capture a person’s lively shadow on the slowly moving over-sized graphics/lettering.
The video screens used for the interactive walls in “Low Rez Hifi” are gorgeous custom-made pieces, using monochromatic LEDs mounted to both sides of small cross brackets (see image below) and suspended via tensioned cables. So the wall is transparent, yet double sided.
Finally, they have proposed a naturally-interactive installation at the Kennedy Center in Washington, which calls for a series of small vortex-shaped wind turbines, aligned in a wind screen configuration, each with an internal glow at night from whatever power is generated by the turbine. A great example of exploring the intersection of digital media design + sustainable technologies in architectural applications.
You can also find many of their design concepts, renderings and installation photos on their Flickr page.