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Taking lighting to a new dimension

Light installation view from the bottom

Rogier van der Heide, Philips Vice President and Chief Design Officer, talks about fascinating new organic lighting concepts and his personal visions for the future.

Creating Chemistry: Luminous wallpaper, windows and doors as flat sources of light – organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) are revolutionizing the lighting market. What new opportunities do OLEDs offer with regard to lighting design?

Rogier van der Heide: OLEDs offer much greater integration of light into objects, furniture, cars, buildings, architecture… even fashion. Suddenly, illumination can go where it has never been before. With OLEDs, designers have unparalleled possibilities to use light in new and unexpected ways.

Can you tell us what organic lighting concepts you are currently working on?

We are working on many concepts based on OLEDs. We’re looking into integration in car interiors, and we recently launched a mirror that radiates light just around your face. The OLED lighting it uses is incredibly natural, flattering and soft – the perfect light by which to see your features! I love such concepts; they truly draw from the unique properties of OLEDs as a new art of light.

What is your favorite piece of design using organic diodes and what makes it so fascinating?

I really love the OLED chandelier designed by Tommy Voeten of 1212-Studio, which was further detailed and engineered by Philips. It was inspired by DNA, and expresses the idea that groundbreaking OLED technology adds new, fundamentally different possibilities to the way we light our environments.

Rogier van der Heide

"With OLEDs, we can create environments that are more pleasant, better for our wellbeing and more inspiring than we could before."

That sounds sensational, but also fairly upmarket. When will luminous wallpaper be stocked at my local home improvement store?

It would be fantastic to have luminous wallpaper, and of course we are looking into ways of making light flexible and uniform. Any new form of light that expands the freedom of designers is interesting and relevant. For a long time, light was limited to the light bulb and the tube light, but now new concepts are constantly being developed. Will luminous wallpaper become widely available in future? We’ll see. Check back with us in two years!

How will the new OLED lighting concept change our living and working environment?

OLED is more flattering, softer and more forgiving than any other light source. It renders human skin beautifully. We all look better in OLED light, which is why I call it the “light for wellbeing.” With OLEDs, we can create environments that are more pleasant, better for our wellbeing and more inspiring than we could before.

Which lighting vision would you like to implement in your own home?

For my home I love the concept of “the human scale.” That means avoiding light sources above eye level and having a number of small lamps scattered around the space, instead of one strong lamp in the middle on the ceiling. It dramatically improves the atmosphere of any room.

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