Over the next few weeks we will be highlighting award-winning projects and ideas from this year's Core77 Design Awards 2012! For full details on the project, jury commenting and more information about the awards program, go to Core77DesignAwards.com
Location: San Francisco, CA
Category: Consumer Products
Award: Professional Winner
Straight out of Stanford's research labs, the Lytro Light Field Camera is the first consumer Light Field Imaging camera. It's an Icon for a new era, celebrating the most significant technology shift in photography in decades. Lytro captures dynamic vectors of light to create 'Living Images'; images that contain the color, intensity and direction of all light-rays in a scene. The results are photos that can be focused infinitely after they are taken. Derived from the gesture of viewing a kaleidoscope, the 'extruded-lens' form is supremely clean—shrinking what took an advanced imaging-lab into the palm of your hand. As Gad Amit explains in the Q+A of his winning entry:
Our team set out to match the innovative technology with an equally innovative approach to design by not taking anything for granted. Current camera devices are steeped in antiquated gestalt, born of reflex cameras with the need to house mirrors and film. Despite evolving to digital, the industry kept the slab with the pointy lens —we recognized Lytro as a chance to evolve this entrenched paradigm. We set the goal at creating the most iconic and pure design for this groundbreaking technology within the given timeframe, budget and hardware constraints. This notion was applied ground up and driven by the long cylindrical lens that was essential for the device's performance. We were approached to re-skin a component bundle, our answer was to tear it down and re-build it into an Iconic object that re-defines the camera as the world knows it.
How did you learn that you had been recognized by the jury?
A Monday morning email as I arrived to the office and settled in. Great way to start the week.
What's the latest news or development with your project?
Lytro is doing wonderfully in the market. The camera and technology has received coverage and praise throughout the media and been raved about by users. Lytro rolled out support to Windows machines in the last week and is continually updating the software to make the camera more and more advanced. They have more exciting things in the works, stayed tuned..
What was an "a-ha" moment from this project?
Our "a-ha" moment came with a simple fingernail sketch showing board and lens layout. This encompassed the technology for us; used space in the most efficient way and created a simple, iconic and usable object. From this sketch we were able to develop an entire Product Architecture for Lytro, for product to interface—is it cliché to say it helped everything fall into place?