The one piece of software that’s affected my life more than any other may be F.lux. It’s not an email client or social network utility; it’s a simple piece of software that changes my computer’s color temperature with the time of day. So rather than a harsh, blue light telling my brain it’s noon when I’m browsing at 8 p.m., my screen glows warm like an incandescent light bulb, cuing my natural melatonin levels like a sunset while lulling me to sleep.
Transformative Chronotype, by designer Julie Yonehara, is a conceptual vanity set modeled after much this same idea. It consists of a series of "circadian" sleep masks and a "chronos" compact. The masks passively filter out blue spectrum colors (which could be floating overhead in fluorescent or LED lighting), promoting melatonin production to make you sleepy. The compact fires out blue light—similarly to SAD light-therapy devices—specifically to have the opposite effect and wake you up.
But what’s most curious about Yonehara’s work isn’t the science, but the execution. Transformative Chronotype has a posh-futuristic feel. The compact is fashioned almost like jewelry. The honeycomb mask looks geometrically luxurious.
"The concept behind the mask construction came from an earlier project in which I was experimenting with laser cutting on silk. The material itself cuts beautifully and cleanly just as a synthetic would (ie. nylon and polyester), achieving very intricate designs," Yonehara explains. "Later I found that I could bond silk chiffon with various synthetics through one go with the laser cutter to give the pieces not only pattern, but added strength and levels of light regulation."
The result is an otherworldly fabric that couldn’t work more simply (it’s just light diffusing through colored cloth). It’s like the future, here today.