Sonumbra is an architectural textile that collects solar energy during the day and then gives it off at night. Designed by  Rachel Wingfield and Mathias Gmachl, for Loop, pH, SonUmbra is a solar-powered tree composed of strands of light-emitting fabric woven into a lucent web of branches. The installation’s canopy of photovoltaic panels captures light during the day, and once the sun sets the tree blooms in an interactive flourish of light and sound. SonUmbra is a freestanding structure resembling a large umbrella frame, that holds a funnel-shaped canopy of electroluminescent fibers. The glowing fibers glow respond to movement around them to create flowing light patterns on the canopy.

The installation is constructed from a light emitting fabric that is crafted into a lattice of electroluminescent fibers. As passerby move around the solar tree, the installation strikes up an interplay of light and sound that encourages interaction. According to loop.PH, “This latticed pattern is animated in concert with the generated surround sound and visually illustrates the visitors’ position within the constellation. Wandering unaware or actively gravitating towards Sonumbra each person plays a part and becomes a note in a unique composition of light, sound and space.

(Photos by C-M.)

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