Starry Night: Glow-in-the-Dark Bike Path Inspired by Van Gogh

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[ By WebUrbanist in Technology & Vehicles & Mods. ]

night cycling visibility green

Opening last night in Nuenen, Holland, this illuminated cycling surface is free to the public, storing sunlight during the day to create stellar patterns to guide riders after dark. Its swirling shapes are recognizably inspired by one of Vincent van Gogh’s most famous paintings.

night path now open

night cycling path glowing

Developed by Dutch artist and innovator Daan Roosegaarde in conjunction with infrastructure specialists from Heijmans, this pathway is a conceptual extension of a series of glow-in-the-dark highway projects and other urban improvement proposals.

night path standing view

night cycling rider shot

Part practical lighting scheme and part installation art project, the path is located along a stretch of a bicycling route passing through Noord Brabant, the region from which van Gogh originated, which in turn connects various notable sites from his personal life and work. Its creator explains: “I wanted to create a place that people will experience in a special way, the technical combined with experience – that’s what techno-poetry means to me.”

night cycling image large

night path holland biking

night biking path lights

The semi-abstract pixelated swirls are a high-tech reference to Starry Night, painted in 1889 and depicting an idealized view from the east-facing window of the painter’s asylum room at Saint-Rémy-de-Provence (now part of the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York City).

night cycling aerial view

starry night inspired path

night cycling path image

night path cyclist picture

Studio Roosegaarde is known for “tactile high-tech environments in which viewer and space become one. This connection, established between ideology and technology, results in what Roosegaarde calls ‘techno-poetry’. His often interactive work connects people with art and people with people.”


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Color-Changing Hammocks: Swing on 20 LED-Lit Circular Chairs

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[ By WebUrbanist in Art & Installation & Sound. ]

circular art swing project

Transforming an outdoor recreational space into an interactive evening wonderland, this series of variously-sized swings (and accompanying activities) encourages playful nighttime interactions.

circular swing park area

circular swing set design

Designed by Howler + Yoon Architecture (images by John Horner Photography) and located at Lawn on D in Boston, the focal point of the installation is the set of round hammocks filled with LEDs that change color as you sit on, swing or spin them.

circular round color changing

circular urban swing art

The lights use customized micro-controllers, converting motion into changes in hue and luminosity, starting as a standard white by default. Also on offer: free wireless internet and various backyard-type ball games.

circular swing art installation

circular crescent moon swings

circular light up hammock

The swings come in three sizes and are set to be on display (and open to the public for play) through November, but it might be best to enjoy them now while the summer weather still lingers. But don’t worry: rain or snow, they will leave a light on.


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Cyclonic Pictures: Long Exposures Spin Art from Light & Air

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air light stick art

The shots seem impossibly composed, consisting of light that arcs and twists like a tornado in the night skies, but the process of creating them is much simpler than you might first imagine.

air art distance thrown

aerial cyclone light art

Martin Kimbell twirls, tosses and hurls LED sticks then uses long-exposure techniques to capture the twisting, turning and arcing patterns that result from each throw.

air timelapse spinning photos

air tornado light art

Some of the loops look like natural phenomena, swirling dust, stormy cyclones or campfire smoke, for instance, except spun from bright and colorful lights instead of organic materials. Others trajectories are simpler and captured in black-and-white instead.

art art black white

night light aerial art

air art up down

Inspired by Stu Jenks  and other light artists, Kimbell is a “freelance photographer based in Nottingham, England, specialising in light painting and action sports photography.” You can see more of his photography beyond this type on Flickr as well, and be sure to check out Diliz who crafts figures from sparklers in a much different style.


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Broken Mirror: Shard Hotel Views Reflect Next-Door Rooms

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[ By WebUrbanist in Boutique & Art Hotels & Travel. ]

shard hotel london night

Splintered corners, giving The Shard in London its iconic multifaceted look, are now also responsible for letting guests of Europe’s tallest hotel see into the spaces of their nighttime neighbors.

shard broken reflection mistake

As the Financial Times reports,a  series of glass panels standing out from the structure have turned into a series of accidental mirrors, giving room-with-a-view a new meaning in the context of this building.

london hotel interior problem

During the day, visitors to the Shangri-La can see out in nearly all directions, but at night with inside lights on they also get an uninvited sneak peak back into adjacent bedrooms. Designed by Renzo Piano, the famous building may not be as problem-plagued as its car-melting sibling but it certainly has some issues yet to be resolved.

shard hotel london day

The solution so far offered by the hotel seems somewhat incomplete – they are notifying guests of the issue and advising them to use curtains. Still, not everyone will remember to take such steps and many will want to leave their curtains open, since they came for the lovely views in the first place. In the end, one is left to wonder how no light modeling of the building revealed this potential problem (image above by Patrick Collins).


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Glow-in-the-Dark Highways: Free Lighting Hits the Streets

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smart highway now reality

Proposed just two years ago, this alternative solar-powered passive streetlight system is now already a reality, deployed along motorways across the Netherlands. As one reporter put it after riding along the newly-transformed highways: “It looks like you are driving through a fairytale.”

sustainable_highway_2

smart highway changing lights

This is just the beginning of a Smart Highway approach designed to adapt surfaces to the needs of drivers. Constituent ideas include the display of relevant contextual information directly on roadways (including traffic and weather conditions) as well as direct wireless car charging.

smart highway side lights

smart highway road system

Other new ideas from Studio Roosegaarde include the possibility of turning street materials into smog attractors, reducing the spread of pollutants by pulling harmful particulates right out of the air. Despite the compelling design component, their creator describes these innovations as reforms rather than designs – ways of improving everyday life and personal safety.


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Lucky Rainbow: Time Lapse Pics of Traffic Light Piercing Fog

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time lapse light

The right place, proper timing and a keen eye conspired to help a photographer capture this eerie nighttime phenomena at a crossroads outside of Weimar, Germany.

rainbow night light green

rainbow night light yellow

rainbow night light red

German photographer Lucas Zimmermann found and shot this intersection at each stage of the its cyclical change, capturing green, yellow and red.

rainbow light full spectrume

He also went a step beyond the sequential with one particularly impressive shot spanning the entire cycle, creating a rainbow in the mist.

rainbow light black white

His other work spans from the rural United States to the streets of Beijing, but usually focuses on people over places – this set, however, proved a worthy exception.


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Night Graffiti: Shake-Powered LED Spray Paint Can Sleeve

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led spray can light

The nature of graffiti tends to result in nocturnal excursions, but painting completely in the dark can be a be problem and sometimes you just need a little bit of light.

led graffiti can sketches

led can sleeve model

LASH is a light attachment for spray cans designed by Subinay Malhotra of New Delhi, India to provide low-level illumination on demand to artists on the street.

led spray can design

The device slots onto the can and charges via a motion familiar to anyone who has sprayed paint, illicitly or otherwise: the shaking action one has to repeat to keep on painting.

led spray paint functions

The LEDs are intentionally dim and easy to turn both on and off at the push of a button, all so artists can see what they are doing on an as-needed basis but blend back into the shadows with a simple click.


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