"From Spark to Finish": In Basel, Design Miami's Designers of the Future Unveil Illuminating Inventions

Philippe Malouin and his "Daylight" series
(Courtesy W Hotels)

Design Miami/Basel's W Hotels Designers of the Future booth appears to be lined with plantation shutters, but don't try to open them; they don't lead anywhere.

The illusion is a trick by Quebec-based Philippe Malouin, one of three designers who were given W's prestigious title for 2012. He interpreted this year's theme, "From Spark to Finish" by creating a play on light. Each piece of his "Daylight" series features slats lined in LED lights of an unusually friendly temperature — they're more akin to sunshine than the standard office fluorescence. As the lights reflect on the wall behind, they give the illusion of daylight streaming through windows, a cheerful thing on rainy days, or even in the middle of the night. Malouin fashioned the edges of these colorful triangles to fit together like Chinese Tangrams, giving you the tools to build a custom kaleidoscope onto your wall. 

To see the work of the other Designers of the Future, click the slide show.