Today we are happy to introduce you to the team that won the second prize of the CLUE Edition 03 of the International Lighting Design Competition. Let us remind you that the theme this year was ONE FOR LIGHT, LIGHT FOR ALL.
Congratulations to Mina Saadatfard, Zahra Haghi and Hamid Peyro from Iran for their project entitled Shape-Shifting Lights.
Tell me about yourself, your career and your education.
I did my bachelor studies in architecture in Iran, and got my masters degree in architecture from the University of Sheffield, UK, in 2009. Ever since, I have been working professionally as an architect, researcher and educator in Shiraz, Iran. We (me and my partner) started our own practice, named Grid Studio, about three years ago. It is an architectural research and design studio.
Zahra Haghi and Hamid Peyro recently received their bachelor degrees in architecture, and have been working as architectural design and visualization interns at Grid Studio ever since.
Where does your interest in lighting design come from?
During my teaching experience and through my readings I have become interested in new interdisciplinary realms of design and fabrication in architecture, including emerging fabrication technologies and material systems, and I built a number of small-scale research projects in studios and offices. Natural and artificial lighting has been one of the major concerning parameters in our projects due to our extreme climatic conditions and the energy crisis in Iran, and we were able to come to different design solutions in diverse situations.
Why did you choose to participate in the “One for light, light for all” themed CLUE Competition?
Looking at the living conditions of people in big cities and the major decrease in living space per person due to the rising price of housing units, the importance of public spaces and the way they are being designed seem to be more crucial than ever. The design question of this edition of CLUE Competition targets a very interesting issue: personalization of public spaces through lighting design. Bringing together the two diverse realms of personal territory and public zone through design may be the key to creating more lively and welcoming public spaces.
Can you share with us your initial idea behind this concept of “Shape-Shifting Lights”? What is the “One for light, light for all” aspect of this project?
Our main idea was to produce a performative, adaptable, dynamic, and interactive urban artifact that could be altered and re-shaped by people according to their needs so that it would create a simultaneously personal and collective experience for users.
Do you think that your proposal could become a reality?
Regarding the general scheme of the design and its modular structure, it would be completely possible for the project to be fabricated. However, for the idea of using illuminated Shape Memory Polymers, I guess further research and professional consultation would be necessary.
What were your motivations for Shape-Shifting Lights?
“People move – architecture stops. People desire – space defines. The designer as spatial programmer collects movements and desires and releases them into the conception of building.” (Anderson, 2011)
Architectural characteristics are a reflection between the materials and how they give flexibility to the performance, instead of being an object that creates no movement. Both visually and structurally, the architecture is moving; the architecture complements the performance.
Design using interactive technologies enables us to consider objects, space, people and systems as potential performers and this could create a sense of belonging and intercommunity for people.
Please tell us more about the operational aspect of your installation. How does it work?
The project is a prototype made of modular L-shaped panels arranged in way to create a unified tessellated surface which can be installed independently in public spaces or applied to any urban façade or public artifact. The whole surface is assembled and attached on a thick structured frame which is embedded with a number of hidden sliding pieces of furniture and QD-LED embedded transparent shape-shifting polymers so that people can adjust their personalized activity and lighting space.
How do you see lighting design evolving on a long-term basis?
I think lighting design will have a revolutionary future considering the new emerging interdisciplinary developments in the fields of bio-technology and nano-technology.
How do you see your professional career evolving?
Our goal is to expand our professional practice and develop more focused disciplinary design and research objectives in the future.