University exhibits interactive lighting ideas at Milan Design Week

16 May 2024

From 16 to 21 April, Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University exhibited a selection of lighting projects from industrial design students at SaloneSatellite, one of the venues of Milan Design Week 2024.

XJTLU’s exhibition at Salone Satellite

SaloneSatellite, with a history of over 25 years, is a visionary hub dedicated to young designers under the age of 35.

Interactive lighting ideas

The six lighting projects by XJTLU students exhibited there share a common theme: experience. They prioritise enjoyable interactions and encourage dialogue with their audience.

Projects “OXY2” by Runze Xiong and “COLDWARM” by Hongru Li

One of the projects, “OXY2”, created by Runze Xiong, is a lighting solution that supports a range of workout scenarios. It combines form and function to create a unique aesthetic appeal while enhancing the overall lighting environment for more interactivity.

“Designed with a suction cup, the light can be temporarily fixed on a glass or mirror, making it perfect for domestic gyms. The lighting can be programmed to change colour and brightness, signalling the beginning of specific training patterns.

“It can support different workouts like high-intensity interval training (HIIT) with pulsing lights, or yoga sessions synchronised with music or beats,” Xiong explains.

“IVY” by Ziyang Guo

Another project, “IVY”, created by Ziyang Guo, fuses artificial lighting and nature and allows the plant to grow in it.

“My project caters to the increasing environmental awareness of individuals who prefer dining at restaurants with a natural theme.

“Ecologicalisation has become a development trend in high-end hotels, with more emphasis on using wood or environmentally friendly lamp design materials. IVY is perfect for interior designs revolving around white and green features and emphasising a sustainable and environmentally conscious ambiance,” Guo says.

Projects “CONTAINIGHT” by Zekai Wang (left) and “ACCORDIO” by Yiyun Liang (right)

Other projects included:

  • Hongru Li’s “COLDWARM”, a reversible ambient light with two colour temperatures that can create a different atmosphere for coffee shops, homes, and other scenes;
  • Zekai Wang’s “CONTAINIGHT”, a modular lamp for collectors that allows them to display their collections and adjust the intensity, colour temperature, and direction of the light;
  • Yuheng Tao’s “BEACON”, an AI-controlled personalised ceiling lamp for high-end restaurants that focuses on the user’s meal plate and provides a unique atmosphere while meeting basic lighting needs;
  • Yiyun Liang’s “ACCORDIO”, an origami lamp designed for co-working spaces that showcases the user’s social willingness through the folding of the lamp while providing sufficient lighting suitable for the office environment.

Milan Design Week 2024 drew a global audience, providing XJTLU students with diverse opportunities to engage in discussions about their designs, says Ivan Parati, the curator of the exhibition and Associate Professor at XJTLU’s Department of Industrial Design.

“SaloneSatellite, in particular, brings together international design schools and emerging designers, and allows for interaction with various institutions,” Parati says.

“It has been instrumental in launching the careers of influential designers, and presents a prime occasion for showcasing our unique talents to companies and investors.”

Project “BEACON” by Yuheng Tao

Learn with real-world industry projects

These projects were selected from the student outcomes of the BEng Industrial Design module titled Industry Collaboration, which aims to involve students in a practical project developed in collaboration with industry partners.

Parati, also the Module Leader of Industry Collaboration, says that the Department selects and engages with local, regional, and prominent international industries to establish mutually beneficial cooperative projects each year.

“We want to familiarise students with the complexities and opportunities of real-world industry projects, as well as the professional expectations and ethical standards of their future careers,” he says.

“ACCORDIO” and Yiyun Liang

One of the participants, Yiyun Liang, says it is an honour to take part in this exhibition.

“I have not only seen the masterpieces of some famous brands, but also the works of other young designers. This gave me a lot of inspiration and allowed me see more possibilities for design,” she says.

Another student, Zhe Zhang, says: “It is a wonderful experience to communicate with designers around the world, where you can see various designers’ thoughts on the sustainable manufacturing of furniture.”

The XJTLU exhibition was organised by Emanuela Corti, coordinated and set up by Zhe Zhang, and the students were tutored by Nuno Bernardo, Vicente Esteban, Eric Mazodier, and Joeri Reynaert.

By Yi Qian

Edited by Xinmin Han and Tamara Kaup

Images courtesy of Ivan Parati

16 May 2024