Singapore’s Marina Bay glows brighter with sensor-based light art installation

The Singapore University of Technology and Design has devised an energy efficient lighting exhibit for the i Light Festival that looks like a swarm of luminous phytoplankton dotting the Marina Bay

iSwarm at Marina Bay

The Singapore evening skyline, particularly by the Marina Bay area, is a tourist attraction in itself – and recently, it has upped its picturesque factor with the added twinkle of a light art installation by the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD).

One of 28 sustainable light art exhibits that are part of the near-month long i Light festival that runs until March 30, this installation called iSwarm was developed by SUTD professors Thomas Schroepfer and Suranga Nanayakkara,and their team from the Advanced Architecture Laboratory (AAL) and the Augmented Senses Group (ASG), in collaboration with Philips Lighting and the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) of Singapore. 

They designed a collection of fluorescent lights that are akin to a swarm of bioluminescent algae, the tiny marine creatures that flicker at night in coastal waters. Similar to this natural phenomena, the energy efficient lighting is hardly visible during the day and only comes alive at night, the festival organisers noted. It also flickers and changes colour in response to audience movements, which are captured by a set of 34 sensors installed at the railing around the artwork. iSwarm works based on algorithmically programmed response to sensors, they added. This video, shot using drone technology, shows how the interactive installation illuminates the Marina Bay area.

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