Biomimicry of the Sun is a research-led design piece that questions our reliance on artificial light. Constructed of three cast crystal Fresnel lenses encased in a brass frame, the work suggests a future in which a sun replica is installed in a sacred space as a replacement for our relationship with the light from the sun. The work uses warm and cool kelvin temperatures that mimic the temperature of the sun and is programmed to turn on and off daily with sunrise and sunset at Greenwich Observatory. It is the product of intensive research with optic engineers and chronobiologists.

Biomimicry of the Sun is inspired by the field of Chronobiology, the study of internal clocks in all living organisms. This field demonstrates the importance of the sun’s changing color temperature on our internal clocks. Our internal clocks are imperative to dictating tasks that sustain our health, but their needs are offset by our increasingly artificial world. By utilising the brackets of the rising and setting of the sun to turn on and off, this light aids us in not overextending ourselves. In this sense, it signifies our humanness and our need for a society that is not ‘always on’.

The LEDs and Fresnel lenses are encased in a brass structure. As the light shines through the lens, a beam is projected onto the wall changing in colour and location throughout the day. While today Fresnel lenses are readily available in plastic, Biomimicry of the Sun resurrects the historic Fresnel lens in an optic crystal. In doing so it combines traditional materials and craft with advanced programming and LED technology.

This project was made possible with consultation from:

Dan Spinella at Artworks Florida

Patrick at London Water Jet Cutting

Max Jacquard at Max Jacquard Glass

LEDs supplied by KKDC London

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Photography: Cristian Lorca