During our lesson on using design to inspire and give meaning, our group was particularly intrigued by the power of design to awe users. We agreed that awe is an overwhelming feeling, which we most closely relate with wonder. In discussions on the materials and experiences that evoke awe for our group members, we agreed that we find light to be powerful and influential in daily life. We decided to lean into this idea and found a wealth of information through research on light therapy, and the power of color to influence mood, health and relaxation. We then decided to take the concept of color in room lighting, and designed Kelvin light, a modern and sleek room light which the user can control to produce the color of light which would be most appropriate for their given state.
In order for our lighting system to truly evoke awe as earlier defined, we felt it important that the light be visually striking, appealing, and somewhat consuming. We sought inspiration from art and home design and decided on a fixture with a light strip all along the inside perimeter, such that it appears to be glowing from within, a concept inspired by works of James Turrell. We were motivated by Turrell’s approach to light and color because of our own emotional reactions thereto. We took this ideal to design a light source which operates across the Kelvin light temperature spectrum and could be easily controlled, programmed, and adjusted by way of a mobile application.
Our design makes use of the color temperature spectrum in Kelvin because of our research on the potential for light and color stimulus to affect mood, productivity and overall health. Our color temperature spectrum ranges from 10,000 degrees Kelvin (Clear Blue Sky) to 1,000 degrees Kelvin (Candle Flame Red). We believe in the utility of this spectrum because of the research on the power of blue tones to fight stress and the power of warm reds to improve sleep. Therefore, our users are able to adjust the light in their rooms in accordance with their mental and emotional states. In order to truly facilitate awe and allow the user to be enthralled by the experience, it is important that our design is easily integrated into the user’s routine. With this in mind, we built a sleek and minimalist mobile app. Our application is inspired by mobile applications for home light and sound systems, with particular input from the Fibaro home light app. On our app, the user designates which room they are in, and then can adjust the light’s brightness and color temperature through sliding scales. The Kelvin Light fixtures themselves come in both a square and a circular model.