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
Designer: Philips Design
Category: Furniture & Lighting
Award: Professional Winner
The FreeStreet lighting system offers a progressive and exciting solution which will also help to clear some of the clutter from our increasingly busy urban landscapes. The system eliminates traditional street light poles; instead connecting a string of LEDs along narrow cables which are virtually invisible during the day. The result is lights which appear to float in mid-air. This flexible, lightweight solution provides homogenous light distribution with no visible or physical obstruction from poles at eye-level. As Zoë Ryan, Jury Captain of the Furniture & Lighting category shares, "[The FreeStreet] is a very elegant and efficient solution to an everyday typology of object that because of its ubiquitousness can really define a city street."
How did you learn that you had been recognized by the jury?
We found out online, via Twitter, as soon as the results came in. It was a lovely surprise!
What's the latest news or development with your project?
FreeStreet has already been installed in Eindhoven, in addition to a couple of pilots in France, and we're now starting to see applications to implement it in a number of cities across the world. There is lots of interest it. We're looking forward to seeing it being used in different settings.
What is one quick anecdote about your project?
The cable was one of the biggest challenges of the project, because it not only supports the luminaire, it also carries the electricity and the signaling. The capabilities and strength of this cable are unique to the project and we had to find the right specialist supplier to produce it.
What was an "a-ha" moment from this project?
It was seeing FreeStreet at night, once it had been installed in the first pilot. FreeStreet is a great example of a new application making the most from LED lighting and demonstrating the benefits. But it is still all about the light and not the hardware. The structure of the luminaire is very small and almost invisible, which makes you appreciate the light and what it does. You see the light, but you don't know where it's coming from. And when this street lighting is used to illuminate a public space, you can still see the stars.