Rotal Shape Shifting Light Installation by Zhejiang University

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DESIGN DETAILS
DESIGN NAME:
Rotal

PRIMARY FUNCTION:
Shape Shifting Light Installation

INSPIRATION:
All through the ages, trees have been central to human civilizations, providing a sense of place and interaction. Many cultures look to trees for medicinal and spiritual healing. It is also a convention in many societies to plant trees to commemorate special occasions like birth or wedding ceremonies. Our inspiration is based on the role of trees in bringing people together and cherish rootedness of place. We expect Rotal to enrich interaction between individuals in fast paced urban landscapes.

UNIQUE PROPERTIES / PROJECT DESCRIPTION:
Rotal is a tree inspired shape shifting light installation. Its novel feature is the ability to allow users to push, pull and rotate its branches to create diverse morphologies. The rudimentary silhouette of Rotal is extracted from metasequoia. The structure is made of a central trunk consisting of 2 nested transparent pipes and 16 branches with each containing retractable light diffusion tubes, a needle bearing and a 3D-printing joint. The trunk body is fitted with LED strips of 600lux.

OPERATION / FLOW / INTERACTION:
By pulling the branches of Rotal in and out as well as rotating them, users can synthesize creative morphologies and illumination effects which are visual expressions of their thoughts. Rotal engages people in both asynchronous and synchronous modes of interaction. In asynchronous mode, individuals can realize a morphology of their choice or modify existing morphology one at a time whereas in synchronous mode, a group of individuals can come together to generate a single form. If individuals get too close to Rotal, it responds by transforming from multi-colored illumination to a soft white lighting effect.

PROJECT DURATION AND LOCATION:
This project is a joint design initiative between Zhejiang University and Singapore University of Technology and Design. The project started in September 2017 with an intention of designing a light installation at The Southern Song Imperial Square, a famous historical spot in Hangzhou, China.

FITS BEST INTO CATEGORY:
Lighting Products and Lighting Projects Design

PRODUCTION / REALIZATION TECHNOLOGY:
The trunk of Rotal consists of 2 nested transparent PVC pipes fitted with 4 LED strips. Each of the 16 branches of Rotal has 3 light diffusion tubes that are linked together by 3D-printed rings and caped with reflective acrylic part at the end. The branches are connected to the central trunk by 3D printed joints that allow the light to pass through the full length of the diffusion tubes. The base platform of the Rotal is made from 7 circular boards in descending diameters piled up on one another to ensure stability. The electronic components, power circuitry and controller unit are contained within the base platform.

SPECIFICATIONS / TECHNICAL PROPERTIES:
Dimension: Width 920 mm x Depth 700 mm x 2000 Height mm Weight: 8 kg

TAGS:
Shape-shifting, Tree-inspired, Lighting, Interaction, Morphologies, Expression

RESEARCH ABSTRACT:
Rapid urbanization and new technologies have transformed our life filled with a frenzied spiral of new addiction and a much faster pace of life with limited time of social interaction. Smart light installations in social spaces have tremendous potential in advancing interactions among individuals in social spaces. In this project, we are developing Rotal, a tree inspired shape shifting light installation to enrich interaction between individuals in fast paced urban landscapes. We have developed 3D model, and simulation for the proposed design. A fully functional prototype has been fabricated and experimentally validated.

CHALLENGE:
The challenge of the Rotal project was to seamlessly integrate the mechanical, electrical and electronics modules while allowing for easy user interaction.

ADDED DATE:
2017-11-04 06:07:22

TEAM MEMBERS (10) :
Student Members: Fengyi Ye, Sijie Tong, Qiong Wu, Nanyan Le, Jiahuan Zhou, Xiayin Ying, Faculty Members: Thein Than Tun, Mohan Rajesh Elara, Hao Jiang and Lingyun Sun

IMAGE CREDITS:
Zhejiang University, 2017.

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CLIENT/STUDIO/BRAND DETAILS
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PROFILE:
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NOMINATION DETAILS

Rotal Shape Shifting Light Installation by Zhejiang University is a Nominee in Lighting Products and Lighting Projects Design Category.

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AWARD DETAILS

Rotal Shape Shifting Light Installation by Zhejiang University is Winner in Lighting Products and Lighting Projects Design Category, 2017 - 2018.



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