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Design

Weather-Sensing Walls Control This Kaleidoscopic Light Installation

A giant, wind-powered wall of lenses refracts kaleidoscoping sunlight into Simon Heijdens latest installation, 'Shade.'

by Beckett Mufson
Sep 23 2014, 9:15pm

The chaotic confluence of the elements comes together to create a spontaneous interplay of light and shadow in Simon Heijden's latest installation, Shade. The inaugural recipient of the NOW Gallery London's NOW Commission, Shade features modular glass panes controlled by the room-sized installation's walls, while an intelligent layer of electronic skin responds to wind gusts outside the building. Each module cycles between opaqueness and transparency, resulting in a constantly changing kaleidoscope of sunbeams cascading onto the floor and adapting to nature's fancy.

Cloud covers, passing animals, and even the time of day all dictate the dynamic light patterns projected in Shade. "As the patterns of wind and the quality of light are constantly changing throughout the day, the interior space regains the unplanned character of the outdoors," Heijden writes in the installation description. "At night, the principle is inverted, and interior light is filtered to the outside and projects the kaleidoscopic pattern onto the surrounding pavement."

Shade is set to grace the halls of NOW Gallery London from Sep. 19 to Dec. 19, 2014, offering visitors refracted visions of order and chaos from within the comfort of the gallery's walls—certainly a choice way to experience the elements during London's brisk winter months. Check out a couple GIFs and a short video of the installation in action below:

Check out Heijden's portfolio site for more of his experiential artwork. h/t Raphaël de Courville

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