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On the 23rd of May at Parsons the New School for Design, Ted Simpson, head of marketing for Philips North America presented together with Professor of Lighting Design, Derek Porter, the Learning Innovation Award 2013 to top of the class student Min Chul Song for his innovative end of year submission which combines natural and electric light to provide airline passengers with the optimum light conditions to help them arrive in the best condition. The Learning Innovation Award is part of the collaboration between Philips and the Parsons School which aims to link innovation and education with designers.


A passenger airplane is a building. It encloses us to eat, work, play, and sleep just like any other building. While it moves,near the speed of sound, it is also a place that must provide people a good lighting condition to help them with their activities or lack off. Like buildings on the ground, we can think of creating a daylit environment from the perspective of visual comfort and task performance. With the key differencebeing that it is at the height of 35,000 feet, above the clouds.



When we look at this from a daylight design perspective, the building moves and thus the entire context is constantly moving as well. Light quality is constantly changing, yet there are some common grounds (although there is no ground) of our human needs and what is provided. Given the current window positions in airplanes, the lighting distribution is very uneven through the compartment section. Light distribution became a primary goal. My answer was to create light channels that transmit daylight near the ceilings.




After thinking about the initial design, I started to develop a way to test and verify it. A scaled model of an extruded section lit by a circline fluorescent light is made so I could assess the light distribution. At the same time I could change the form and interior finishes of the light channel. The photographed result also compares the light levels within the space.


The project gives a prospect of a lighting design approach that would be suited to use in the design of an airplane. The advancement of technology will change some details, but this I hope will bring ambition to design spaces other than the static buildings in terms of the two things lighting designers want to present: task performance and visual comfort.


Minchul Song -

Winner of the Philips Innovation Award 2013

Scientists aim to create natural lighting with "glowing plants"


Should scientists be meddling with nature?

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Scientists Aim to Create Glowing Plants


Fiet is an interactive light sculpture that visualizes the emotional impact of movement.

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Fiet - Interactive Lighting Scuplture by Toer &raquo Yanko Design


Didn't make it to Venice Biennale? Check out a roundup of the art here.

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Venice Biennale 2013 Roundup


Building communities by swapping vegetables in London.

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Building Communities by Swapping Vegetables | This Big City


The United States added 723 megawatts of solar power during the first 3 months of 2013.

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The US added 723 megawatts of solar power during the first 3 months of 2013 : TreeHugger

A new study shows people's biological clocks beat faster in a city environment.


Do we need to reconsider how we live in cities for our health?

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BBC News - Biological clocks beat quicker in cities


Have a look inside the world's most ambitious eco city...

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Inside The World's Most Ambitious Eco-City | Popular Science


Some stunning installations at Jerusalem Light Festival which kicked off yesterday.

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Photos: Jerusalem Light 2013 Festival


This dreamy collection of lamps, called Drift, takes inspiration from a boat's hull.Screen shot 2013-06-06 at 11.40.31.png

Drift - Lamps by Valentin Loellmann; Yanko Design


The new August smart lock, designed by Yves Behar.

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August smart lock designed by Yves Behar makes opening the door a social experience | The Verge

Space Group and MVRDV propose the below Urban Green Zone in Norway.


Is sustainability a factor when you choose where to live?

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Madla-Revheim - Sustainable City Model by MVRDV & Space Group: Yanko Design


The world's highest LED has been installed at Everest base camp.

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World's Highest Altitude LED Lighting Installed in Mount Everest Base Camp - WSJ.com


Rietveld Landscape's 'pretty vacant' installation transforms Centraal Museum in Utrecht.

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rietveld landscape's pretty vacant transforms centraal museum


Now you can plug your gadgets into your windows to harness power from the sun. Cool.

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Plug your gadgets into the window with The Window Socket : TreeHugger


Lumigrids uses LEDs to project square grids onto the ground in front of your bike to improve safety. Great idea.

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Lumigrids, Yanko Design

Design studio JamesPlumb has created this dimly lit showroom in the basement of a menswear store.


Do you like the minimalist look?

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The Chalk Room by JamesPlumb


This unifying pavilion is in the form of a "Rainbow Gate" in Burnley, England.

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tonkin liu: rainbow gate, england


We love the unexpected use of elements to create a strong aesthetic identity to this coffee shop in Romania.

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Flying Saucers | We Heart; Lifestyle & Design Magazine


Is this robot the barman of the future?

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BBC News - Robot bartender serves up crowd-sourced cocktails


And finally, one day you won't need to worry about losing your keys, your smartphone will let you in.

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Smartphones to Replace Front Door Keys | Apartment Therapy

These interesting looking lights are actually made from seaweed.


Are mixed and recycled materials the answer to sustainable living?

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Marine Light made of seaweed by Nir Meiri


This impressive structure is a pavilion made from corrugated cardboard. Beautiful re-use of an unexpected material.

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Corrugated Cardboard Pavillion / Miguel Arraiz + David Moreno | ArchDaily


Chris Bracey's work is on display in London at the moment. His neon work is famous for changing the face of the Soho area of the city.

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Shining On | We Heart; Lifestyle & Design Magazine


Is this the house of the future? This project in Berlin looks at technical innovations and sustainability.

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werner aisslinger: home of the future


Did you know noise has colours too? Interesting.

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Block Distractions with the Colors of Noise | Apartment Therapy

A concept created by Hannat Architects to exhibit monsters as a metaphor of disaster and to prevent people’s consciousness of disaster from diminishing. The organizer of the event wanted this exhibition to be something not to tell the misery of disaster but to recall “important things” that tend to be forgotten in everyday life.


What 'important things' do you tend to forget in everyday life?


‘MonsterScape’ Exhibit / Hannat Architects


A lighting sculpture that interacts with sounds that surround it.


[Video] Fiet: an interactive lighting sculpture / Design Studio Toer


“provide a serene environment reflecting Apple’s brand values of innovation, ease of use and beauty.”


Updated Plans Released for Apple Campus in Cupertino / Foster + Partners


"a little chaos can lighten up any situation"


electro-luminescent hadron light / Joe Doucet

The AIA names the top 10 green projects of 2013.


Is sustainability an important consideration in building projects?

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AIA names top ten green projects of 2013


These RGB landscapes become visible and change under different lighting.

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RGB Fabulous Landscapes screens and wallpaper by Carnovsky


RIBA calls for space and light standards in UK new build housing. Currently new housing sizes are similar to tube carriages.

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Wow. This artist has got larvae making jewellery out of gems and gold.

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Living insect larvae build this artist's jewelry (Video) : TreeHugger


And last but by no means least, this 20ft tall dinosaur is made from balloons. Childhood dream come true?

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20-foot dinosaur made from balloons by airigami

Yet another year and Milan Design Week has finished, leaving all of us extremely tired and overwhelmed with the massive amount of design that is spread over the Salone and the city exhibitions, the Fuorisalone. One week and tons of coffee to overcome design-caused sleep deprivation after, I feel recovered enough to reflect on everything seen, experienced and photographed.

To start with, I'd like to point out a fact which becomes more poignant every year; Milan Design Week seems to be decaying. Is it the crisis? I don't know; I feel reluctant to blame absolutely everything to the financial recession, as it seems to be the rule now. Don't take me wrong, it is not my intention to trivialize the economical dip, which indeed has had many negative effects, especially on the design industry, so prone to be put on hold when numbers don't match and short term fixes are required. But it seems to me that creativity is precisely one of those rare skills that are mostly benefitted from constraints. Moreover, creativity, when backed up with endless budget, is not witty, not fun, and has not so much merit in it. And I didn't see that much of that at Milan. Old formulas and ways of doing were ubiquitously present, and although that meant we got to see craftsmanship perfected, it didn't make it very exciting. Extremely beautiful? Yes; I cannot deny I was extremely amazed by the level of aesthetics and execution excellence I saw there. But I wasn't challenged.

Marcus Fairs did point out in its opinion article at Dezeen that the cause might be that Milan is, slowly, losing its hegemony as the absolute must-go place in the world if you want to know what's going on. He points out at the very poor organization of the festival itself as the main cause for this. And I must say that he has reflected a general sentiment that seems to be present, to a greater or lesser extent, in every person I bumped across at Milan. He definitely has a point, although in my opinion an undesigned design fair is not the only reason for disappointment in Milan. There is something else which compromises the reign of Milan as the absolute design capital: it doesn't reflect the full meaning of the word design.

I admit that I have to say that because, as a design strategist myself, I feel somehow my own practice is not reflected there. Design is much broader than just product or furniture design, and that becomes true the more we progress in time. New developments are supported by User Interface designers working on the best interactions we can have with our ubiquitous machines, the shift towards experiences and services are delivered by means of User Experience professionals, and new emerging values in our fast-changing society are met by Innovation and Strategy designers. Today, when design finds itself expanding its meaning more than ever, from the craftsman on the industrial era to that of making sense of things, Milan fair should be renamed, as it is no longer about design, but product design and furniture. And if Milan is not the place to go if you want to catch a glimpse of all that design world that happens beyond the boundaries of furniture, where to go? Well, answering that question might take as well a whole new article.

Anyway, my view is not that apocalyptical as it might have come across my last two paragraphs; I just believe in introducing a bit of criticism to make sure we never sit too comfortably in our ideas and fall victims of conformity. It wouldn't be fair to all the good things I've seen there not to make this point clear. And, despite all, yes, I've seen a lot of beautiful, inspiring things. So many that we have been extremely busy trying to condense it all in one Pinterest board.  A few highlights? Well, list is short, but intense. I absolutely loved Moooi, who knows exactly why those kinds of fairs are there: to make a lasting impact and leave visitors with a wow feeling. A beautifully staged show that made you feel as if you were entering another world (you can check it for yourself in their virtual tour here). Crafted to the very details, from the amazing, subtly provoking pictures of Erwin Olaf - a long term collaborator of the brand - to the detailed orchestration of their interiors - we could even find cracked-on-purpose walnuts matching the colour palette of their furniture. All seasoned with really good music, because at the end, what you want is to have that party feeling, right? Well, congratulations to Moooi - we didn't only love its extensive new collection, but also the world they made us dream.

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Wallpaper Handmade was indeed one of the best examples of what Milan had been this year. Delightfully crafted products which show mastery of form, proportions, materials and colours, nothing too far from what we knew already, just much better. The highlight? Paul Cocksedge's quest for innovation wrapped in a shoe heel: a new methodology to form wood while controlling its strength properties along the part. And they looked beautiful, too.

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We have seen a lot of what we had already seen in Euroluce´s 2011 edition. Brands are playing it safe, and Euroluce was the place to realize this fact. Our winner was clearly Vibia: a quite sizeable new collection, elegant mise-en-scène, knowledge of shadows and one of the only examples of extending lighting to new services empowered by new technologies: their online application to create projects, easy and intuitive to use.

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Cristina Ferraz

With next Monday being Earth Day, what better opener than a magical forest sculpture.


What will you be doing for Earth Day?

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Magical forest sculpture reconnects history of the witch hunts : TreeHugger


We love a timelapse, here are 14 of the best nature based videos.

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12 most amazing time-lapse videos of stars, landscapes, and urban scenes : TreeHugger


You'll never guess what this building is powered by...

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This clinic literally brings the outdoors in. Just lovely.

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Manquehue Clinical Center of Clínica Alemana / MQarquitectos | ArchDaily


Vote for our video made by Dezeen at our OLED lab, it's been nominated for a Webby!

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Vote for Dezeen to win the Webby Awards 2013

This week has seen the Salone de Mobile design fair in Milan. We loved this bench by Zaha Hadid:


What are your favourite interiors trends this year?

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Serac Bench by Zaha Hadid for Lab23


These cool glasses are made with a 3D printer - would you wear them?

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Spring 3D-printed glasses by Ron Arad for pq


This chandelier is made from transparent lego bricks.

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transparent LEGO chandelier by tobias tostesen


Philips is in the news! The most energy efficient LEDs will go into production in 2015.

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BBC News - Most energy-efficient LED light revealed by Philips


Shipping containers re-used for communities to use.

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Shipping Containers for Community: KontenerART - Design Milk

The Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam reopens this month with all the exhibits now lit with Philips LEDs.


Does lighting impact on how you enjoy art?

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New Rijksmuseum illuminated with Philips LED lighting


Can architecture make us more creative?

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Can Architecture Make Us More Creative? | ArchDaily


This wind energy generator produces electricity from water droplets.

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Wind energy generator produces electricity from water droplets : TreeHugger


This bridge in Mexico looks amazing thanks to it's vibrant lighting.

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Puente Matute Remus. | Echauri Morales Arquitectos | Archinect


This museum in Amsterdam almost looks like it's floating. Stunning lighting.

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Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam

New York night and day become one in this amazing video.

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New York Night and Day


Biodegradable food containers and breathable drink from David Edwards

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Cool Hunting


Check out this dizzying tile installation!

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Pulsate: A Dizzying Op-Art Tile Installation - Design Milk


Some amazing massive solar towers are being built in California.

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Solar Tower in California



Treehouses. Just because everyone loves a treehouse.

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Earth hour is this Saturday.


Will you be switching off?

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Earth Hour


if you've ever found yourself with a bit of a creative block, this webinar is for you.

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Inspired by Light online seminar call for participants


This interactive, architectural installation followed the journey of an iceberg.

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The Smart Highways Project proposes 5 energy efficient concepts including photo-luminescent paint.

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Smart Highways by Studio Roosegaarde


An unused rooftop and helipad has been transformed into a productive co-working space.

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Transformed Helipad

This visitor centre was designed to be invisible amongst the surrounding trees.

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Cairns visitor centre


This leisure centre in Amsterdam was designed as a fortress covered in plants.

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Sport Plaza Mercato


This green bathroom takes eco-living to the extreme.

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Green walled Japanese bathroom


When books meet design:

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Ink Book


Book pages transformed into a concrete hotel facade.

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Concrete hotel made from paper

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