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Issue 64 Dec/Jan 2011/12

Visitors to the Qubique design fair got the opportunity to step inside the world of OLEDs.

Video: (c) labme


Perhaps the most immersive of the many creative installations at the Qubique design fair was qube: a sphere of Organic LED (OLED) light set inside a cube of dark.

With a total footprint of 12m x 12m, the installation appeared from the outside to be a black, six metre-high cube with one of its corners transected to form a triangular entrance. Climbing the ramp and stepping inside, visitors found themselves surrounded by a sphere of circular Organic LED tiles, each held in place by metal rods that jutted from the black inner wall of the cube. Individually cut to length, these rods ensured the 2mm thick Orbeos OLED panels sat in precisely the right space to create a perfect globe. More than 1,400 tiles were used, each glowing and fading in response to sound and movement cues detected within the space. In addition to inputs via these sensors, a wi-fi link allowed the qube to be controlled manually via iPad. Visitors stood on a metal grill floor with the spherical OLED formation continuing beneath. Thus enclosed, the wax and wane of light became an all encompassing sensorary experience.

qube is the latest creation from labme, an ‘open source design platform’ formed with the backing of OSRAM to encourage experimentation with emerging OLED technology and to foster an exchange of ideas for their future application. Heading the team was Simon Brünner, the founder of design agency neuesLicht, who took on the role of labme’s Creative Director in September of this year.

qube is in many ways an inversion of Brünner’s OLED pendant ‘Supernova’, which uses the rod-and-tile technique to produce a frozen explosion of light. For the Qubique fair, he wanted to go one step further. “My intention by creating this four-metre sphere was to create a room where people could witness the beauty of Organic LEDs,” he explains.


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