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Philips museum celebrates International Year of Light with interactive music and light experience 'AURA'

17 februari 2015

Eindhoven, 22 January 2015 - Following the global opening of the International Year of Light at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris, the International Year of light 2015 is now also getting under way in the Netherlands. The Philips museum, which is located in the center of the Netherlands' city of light, is bringing the AURA interactive music and light experience to Eindhoven especially to celebrate this year. AURA can be experienced here every weekend and every Wednesday afternoon up until 1 March. The version of AURA that will be live at the Philips museum offers yet more ways for the public to interact with light and sound and is even more advanced than the version that was presented during GLOW NEXT in November 2014.

AURA responds to stimuli from the surroundings, such as sound and movement. The installation works with a webcam that is linked to a round, sun-shaped lighting fixture and registers color, movement and sound, which it then reflects in a dynamic way. Thanks to the power of LED lighting and digital sound, AURA can respond to the situation and occasion, and change the atmosphere as a result. Up until 1 March, AURA is open to visitors every weekend, from 11 am to 5 pm, and every Wednesday afternoon, from 1 to 5 pm, in De Vest at the Philips museum.

AURA appears to become fluid as it reflects changes, continuously altering its color and tone. AURA also reacts to the presence of people, creating an intuitive experience, as if part musical instrument, part emotional response. This music and light experience explores the possibilities of light and sound and how they relate to people's need for 'dwellbeing'. 'Dwellbeing' describes those times when people simply want to relax," explains Paul Thursfield, Creative Director at Philips.

AURA is a unique and experimental design that has been created in response to the role of light and sound in everyday life. It also serves as an experiment to investigate the opportunities for urban beautification and interaction. Topics like these are currently very important for cities that want to strengthen their identity and boost their local economy. A concept like AURA can help cities to achieve these aims.

Visitors to GLOW NEXT, which took place from 8-15 November 2014 in Eindhoven, will have already had a chance to experience AURA. This is another opportunity for people to experience this amazing design first-hand, this time as part of the International Year of Light 2015 at the Philips museum, which is where Philips & Co. began producing incandescent lamps back in 1891.

This work in progress has now evolved further to create an even more advanced intuitive experience whereby members of the public can play AURA using small hand movements, as if plucking the strings of a musical instrument. This latest version of AURA makes it possible to experiment even more with the timing of musical chords and to see the direct effect of this in the light projection on the wall.

The designers of the AURA light form are Paul Thursfield, Creative Director at Philips Group Innovation, and Simon Rycroft, who has recently completed his Master's in Interaction Design. Both men believe that it is not just technological innovation that will create the smart spaces of the future, but also an understanding of the needs and experiences of people. They believe that our living environments should be more a reflection of ourselves, creating spaces that care for us, give us strength and inspire us.