Processing, Unity
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komorebi – Platform for generative sunlight and shadow

Created by Leslie Nooteboom, komorebi is a platform that uses a robotic projector and generative projections to replicate the natural reflections and shadows of sunlight. komorebi can create sunlight filtering through leaves or a dance of light and shadow.

“It is the reflections on pavements underneath centuries-old trees on a sunny day, and moving, framed lightboxes through windows of homes onto walls. However, these days buildings are taller than they have ever been, creating a place to live for as many people as possible on the tiniest piece of land possible. Homes become a place of isolation from the outside – windows are absent or so tiny that even the idea of nature disappears, and lighting has become so artificial that there is no sense of day, time or place anymore.”

The project tries to address the issue of natural sunlight becoming more scarce and the need for technological nature is increasing. komorebi is programmable, and it can change shape, location and interact with its environment. The product exists of three parts. The first is a dynamic projector that is able to change the location of the light. This projector is informed by a platform where people can upload light experiences that can then be inserted in their living space. Thirdly there is the projection itself, which is a computer generated visual for which Leslie has created artificial sunlight, but which could be any type of visual.

“The restrictions of existing light are removed because of this dynamic direction-platform and the freedom of projecting different visuals instead of a standard type of light. Thanks to the code-based nature of the light, a generative aspect can be added to the experience, which makes it serendipitous. This serendipity is an important aspect of the technology, which brings it closer to real nature, rather than repetitive artificial lighting.”

The projector is a laser projector, which allows it to project at different distances without having to refocus. The projections were created using Unity and Processing. An element of randomness was added to the projections, to make sure that there is a certain serendipity to the projections, just like you can’t predict how real sunlight will change brightness, colour and filter through different shapes and materials. The projector is motorised with two stepper motors hidden in the base of the lamp. These allow the light to move throughout the whole space in 360 degrees, from floor to ceiling.

Project PageLeslie Nooteboom

1 Comment

  1. laurelobrien says

    It’s beautiful. I’m curious about the physical lightsource used, as the sort of products that convincingly simulate sunlight on the market right now are upwards of $10-20k.

    I like the idea of sharing a light experience modelled on a real window and geographic location with someone far away.

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