Illuminated Forest is a permanent installation that breathes light, color, and motion into the lobby of the University of Oregon’s Lundquist College of Business in downtown Portland.
The floor-to-ceiling installation includes over 9,000 controllable LED pixels disguised within twelve frosted acrylic columns mounted on a stretch of the lobby’s main wall, creating a unified sculptural display. The ambient light cast from these columns pulse and shift in color, animated by a particle system generated by slow-motion video captures of sunlight filtering through trees. The result is an ever-changing atmosphere of subtle light and motion that bounces through the lobby, reflecting over its polished concrete and brushed steel.
The concept behind Illuminated Forest began with the idea of soft and slow light— like the rays that dance between leaves. How do we capture and code nature successfully? Using a particle system translated from our video samples, we were able to inform the behavior of the LED pixels through hardware and software systems we developed at Glowbox to generate real time motion content. Our software also includes a control system, providing the client the option to schedule custom changes to the light’s behavior and color scheme.
The best combination of nature + design is when we let nature speak for itself. Without imitating or rendering, we can harness data that the natural world provides. The beauty of our planet applied to the endless possibilities within technology lets us create new spaces, where both can shine.