Markus Kayser, like so many humans before him, is fascinated by the sun. The 28-year-old German has made a name for himself designing objects that harness, or mimic, the flaming star at the center of our solar system. For example, the project that launched Kayser’s career, Solar Sinter, used a solar-powered 3D printer to shape objects from sand in the Egyptian desert (the video has more than 60,000 views on YouTube).
At the opening of Design Miami/Basel on Monday, Kayser introduced LIGHTzeit, another project based on the effects of the sun. But unlike Solar Sinter, LIGHTzeit seeks to recreate natural light in an indoor setting, artificially.
Commissioned by W Hotels as part of their Designer of the Future Award, Kayser’s chandelier looks like a humble fluorescent tube mounted on a rotating fixture. But as the tube light slowly rotates, the tone and brightness of the light change to mimic the natural conditions outside. The tube will have made a full 360-degree revolution by the time the day is over.
There’s also a geographic component to the piece. On the floor next to the light, a halved metal globe stands on a pedestal. A lasercut map of the earth is mounted inside - point its metal hands at a particular location, and the light adjusts to mimic what time of day it is there.
Kayser, who is heading to MIT for a Master’s program next year, describes his work as an attempt to overcome the conflict between nature and technology. He’s hoping that LIGHTzeit will bring a little of nature’s spontaneity to artificial environments.
“Most artificial light sources are entirely static,” explains the designer in a brief. The idea with LIGHTzeit (which will hang in W Hotel properties), is to replicate “how natural light constantly changes through motion, intensity and color rendering.”
The light be on view until June 17th.