The gliding motion of a manta ray underwater is a pretty spectacular thing to witness, even on TV, as it sails along like a strange underwater ship. Taking inspiration from this elegant movement, Joachim Sauter’s ART+COM design studio brings us a new project called Manta Rhei, a collaboration with Selux.
Manta Rhei is a kinetic light fixture that uses OLED technology and mechatronics so that it silently ripples through the air like it just swam in from the future. Making up the effortless-looking movements are 14 1.2-meter long, flexible metal plates with 10 paper-thin OLED-modules on them. These are attached to motors in the ceiling by thin steel wire, which moves the body of the light in wave-like motions controlled by a computer program.
It’s probably not the sort of chandelier any of us can afford and would likely clash with your IKEA oak veneer bookshelf anyhow, but the idea is an elegant way to push the envelope of what a light fixture can be and look like. It’s not every day you eat your dinner under a glowing, mimetic, kinetic robo-light sculpture. File it alongside Daniel Libeskind’s cosmic chandelier as bling-tastic light fixtures we’ll never own.
Through the interplay of mechanic motions and dynamic light animations Manta Rhei expands the classical fixture typology and opens a new chapter in lighting. As a next step, and based on this initial concept study, a family of kinetic luminaires will be developed.
For more on ART+COM’s founder Joachim Sauter, check out our video on him below.