July 29, 2011
Tokyo architect, Kengo Kuma, conjures a new sense of space using walls of light.
Award-winning Japanese architect, Kengo Kuma, brings new meaning to our sense of space, redefining and re-sculpting interior environments through the clever use of light. A writer, architect and lighting designer, Kuma has developed a series of ‘moving’ tubular elements which, grouped together in a linear fashion, forms a flexible LED light curtain or wall of light.
Entitled Furin (Japanese for ‘Wind Bell’), the aluminium tubes are connected to the ceiling in a linear group of nine. A LED source runs through the coloured aluminium tubes, which are installed along an electrical binary system. Light is gently dispersed from the moving tubes onto the floor or table, creating a ground-line lighting effect which appears as a wall of light.
Kuma’s architectural work often plays with the user’s sense of space, utilising concepts of filtering and light to organise interior environments. With his background of knowledge and practice, Kuma posed the ideal person to work on Rotaliana’s Furin project. The Furin was presented in Rotaliana’s 2011 Collection at the Milan Furniture Fair, and lays testimony to Rotaliana’s creative direction in using LED technology to engineer convention-free shapes and proportions.
“I want to erase architecture,” says Kuma in describing the concept behind the Furin. “That’s what I’ve always wanted to do and it’s unlikely I’ll ever change my mind.” The Furin, he says, was inspired by blurring the distinction between structural and non-structural elements and envisioning a soft curtain of light that would be flexible and adaptable to different spaces.
The recent winner of the V&A at the Dundee Competition in Scotland, Kuma is renowned for defying conventions. His work is underpinned by a refined simplicity which is evident throughout his major projects, including the Great Bamboo Wall House of Beijing, Kyoto Kokusai Hotel, Tiffany & Co Ginza and Sanlitun SOHO.