Photograph by Basil Safwat

Aura is an interactive musical instrument that responds to presence, becoming a tangible experience that allows people to connect with light and sound.
A part of a series of generative and interactive light and sound concepts by Simon Rycroft and Paul Thursfield from Philips Lighting Design, Aura is a continuation of Philips’ custom of experimenting with light and sound in ways that affect people at an emotional level.
People can control the musical pace and pitch of Aura, but unlike most traditional musical instruments, it can generate multiple personalities of its own. By giving people control of sound and light content in this way, each time you play Aura the experience is slightly different. Even a small, simple gesture can create a large reaction, and spending more time with Aura allows people to discover the subtleties of the interaction.
Crafting meaningful and tangible experiences for users is at the very core of Philips Lighting Design’s practice and Aura was no exception: in the “engine” behind Aura there are some complex digital algorithms, yet these exist solely to empower people to interact intuitively with the work in simple yet meaningful ways.
Aura has only been made possible by the emergence of digitally controlled LED lighting systems. LED lighting releases the limitations associated with traditional lighting (eg. fluorescent tubes or incandescent light bulbs), while unlocking endless flexibility to control the parameters of light. Aura uses Philips Color Kinetics LED lighting: a system that makes it possible sculpt light into virtually any shape or form, and separately control every pinpoint of colour.
Photographs (below) by Frank van Beek and Transmit Media

Winner |  Professional Concept | iF design awards 2015

Finalist | Red dot design awards 2015

2014 | Glow NEXT, Eindhoven
2015 | Design Biennale, St. Etienne; LUX Light Festival, Wellington
2016 | Light and Building, Frankfurt; Illumination Enginering Society Conference, Orlando, FL; Winter Lights festival, London
2017 | HUBweek, Boston, MA; Lighting Application Centre, Eindhoven

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