x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 January 2018

Trendspotting: Light and technology fuse with design

Cutting-edge science and digital details are inspiring dense, sophisticated and brightly coloured objects.

Over the past few months society has been breaking out, ignoring the rules and exploring new ideas of identity and community. As we move towards a digital existence where boundaries are pushed and the rules have yet to be defined, there is a sense of obscured reality. It is an age of no limitations.

Light has become an increasing source of inspiration for artists, designers and product developers, who are harnessing cutting-edge scientific and technological developments to produce amazing results. At Milan Design Week last year, projectors cast moving images over an architectural structure for Neoreal: Prism Liquid, Canon's installation in collaboration with the video artist Takahashi Kyota. Complex projection software also has been used to transform the look of the Sydney Opera House.

GKD's LED-embedded Mediamesh steel "fabric" was used to transform the notoriously ugly Port Authority Bus Terminal in New York with a facade of high-resolution graphics. Illuminated by impressive projections and digital media, these buildings have been given new lives as light sculptures.

This focus on digital details will likely continue as a new generation of light artists creates an innovative visual language. The fusion of design with light and technology results in a high-tech look that works across disciplines. Expect to see light projections that look like textiles stitched into the wall, an idea brought to life by Philips's Luminous Textile system, which integrates LED modules within acoustic textile panels.

The company Meystyle is also incorporating LED technology into its wallpapers to create a strong and vibrant backdrop. And furniture designers are creating exciting pieces out of CDs: Belen Hermosa's Panda chair, Manfred Kielnhofer's Interlux chair and Kiwi & Pom's Disco chair. The designer Beau McClellan is making waves with his Nomad chandelier, now hanging at the B5 The Art of Living showroom on Sheikh Zayed Road. This piece was spellbinding both during the London Design Festival and Dubai's Festival of Interior Design.

This column has previously highlighted the trend for glacial hues and transparent, glow effects as well as the ideas of delicacy, invisibility and barely there tints. The digital trend is marked by a dark, modern palette: cold steel, electric green, laser blue and a dynamic violet with neon pink and yellow accents. There is a maturity and an intelligent sophistication in the dark colours and dense, precise cuts of coloured light.

Shelley Pond is the creative director of Scarlet Opus. For more information visit www.trendsblog.co.uk and www.twitter.com/scarletopus