Certain types of flowers close at night, for self-defense and to conserve their resources. This highly evolved natural mechanism is called nyctinasty, and inspired Studio Drift to create Shylight, a light sculpture that unfolds and retreats in a fascinating choreography mirroring that of real flowers.
Most man-made objects have a static form, while everything natural in this world, including people, are subject to constant metamorphosis and adaptation to their surroundings. Shylight is the result of a question: how can an inanimate object mimic those changes that express character and emotions? After a research period of five years, Studio Drift found the final form to express their idea. It is a lamp that looks alive because of unpredictable, natural-looking movements: it descends to blossom in all its glorious beauty, to subsequently close and retreat upwards again. The Shylight is created out of many layers of silk, which cause it to move with the grace of a dancer. The movement of the lights can be controlled by an iPhone or iPad, opening up a range of possibilities such as a choreography to music. The fact that people react in a spontaneous and emotional way to these performative sculptures shows how the philosophy of Studio Drift functions exactly as it was meant.
The Shylights have a fall distance of 9 meters making it possible to create large compositions for high ceilinged spaces. A shylight installation can always be expended with additional Shylights.
Shylight unfolds by a system of springs, creating the form once out of the cocoon. Gravity lets it slight down and a motor controls the upward movement. The silk shade consists of many layers kept apart by the polished RVS. Shylight was developed between 2010 and 2014.
The Rijksmuseum Amsterdam has acquired an installation by Studio Drift, consisting of five Shylights.
Made by: Lonneke Gordijn + Ralph Nauta
Materials: Aluminium, polished stainless steel, silk, LED's, robotics