Danish design and development team Urbanbotics has created a series of urban lights called ORBs that look like glowing underwater jellyfish! Designed for marinas, water fronts, lakes, river banks, channels, beaches and swimming pools, the beautiful LED lamps are also interactive – they respond to enivronmental stimuli by moving closer to quiet sounds like music and hiding underwater when loud noises occur!
The lights were created as part of the UrbanBotics project, which seeks to create new ways of integrating performative furniture with technology in urban spaces. Part of the scheme included ‘water elements’, which is where the ORBs come in.
The ORBS were presented for the first time in the form of 7 floating and diving prototypes at Copenhagen’s Nordre Toldbod Harbur. Acting very much like intelligent creatures, the ORBs respond to urban sounds in the same way that animals would. When spectators made friendly noises or played beautiful music, the ORBs moved towards them. However when loud noises such as engines or people yelling occurred, the ORBs ‘hid’ by diving under the water and hiding on the seabed.
The ORBs are also able to communicate with each other by flashing in a variety of color signals and pulsating air bubbles. They can also move between the surface of the water and the seabed and emit beautiful changing light patterns that cover the entire color scale. ORBs are also able to send light rays toward the bottom, offering spectators a glimpse of underwater life like fish and plants.
While the ORBs are able to run on a 24 hour cycle, they are of course most visible and spectacular in the evening when their interactive patterns of light are reinforced by reflections on the water. Not only that, but they can stay out all year – the designs are remarkable sturdy and can withstand freezing temperatures by sitting on the seabed.
Here’s hoping UrbanBotics transplant their eye-catching lighting to other parts of the world asap!
Images: Tom Mckenzie