ELAC (Embroidered Light for Acoustic Ceilings)
ELAC exploits the advancements of OLED and LED technology in the area of acoustic ceiling tiles. We have surface mounted light and circuitry to avoid light installations effecting the acoustic performance and to ease the technical installation.
The traditional solution for integrating light in acoustic ceiling tiles is to remove acoustic material whenever light is wanted. With this solution the installation process is complex and requires an electrician to establish connections from above the tiles.
With ELAC we apply the circuitry on textile through a soft embroidery process and then mount it onto the tiles. A central tile is the ‘brain’ for 8 surrounding tiles, and a multiplication of ‘islands’ of 9 tiles can be done for the light surface to become larger. The brain tile allows wireless interaction with built-in sensors to monitor surroundings and adapt behaviour accordingly.
Industrial Innovation Project
The liberation of light
The power and data gets transmitted from tile to tile through embroidered contact points. The precision of the sophisticated industrial embroidery allows the tiles to just touch each other and then transmit. Our design demonstrates how OLEDs can compete with traditional lighting solutions in terms of lighting quality, how the potential of realtime control of LEDs and OLEDs can create individual light settings and how soft surface mounted technology can open up to new ways of integrating light. With ELAC we want to demonstrate the aesthetic potential of revealing the embroidered circuitry in an interplay with OLEDS and LEDs.
Inspiration in history
The architectonic history of ceilings is rich even though most modern ceilings try to be ‘conspicuous by their absence’ from a spectacular point of view. In the solution we have chosen we have found inspiration in the coffer ceilings of the past. For example the Pantheon in Rome. The essence of coffer ceilings is an interplay between light and absence of light systematised in regular, geometric and scalable shapes, which is exactly what we are aiming for in the ELAC project.
Collaboration with the industry
ELAC is the result of a tight collaboration between Diffus Design, Ecophon and Saint-Gobain research. Saint-Gobain is the world leader in the habitat and construction markets. They design, manufactures and distributes building and high-performance materials for people and for life. Ecophon is a daughter company of Saint-Gobain and is specialised in acoustic ceilings for the building industry. It is also the result of a long collaboration between Diffus Design and the Swiss embroidery manufacturer Forster Rohner, a collaboration that started in 2009 with The Climate Dress. During this period, the goal was to explore and develop a range of products and services for the emerging industry of conductive embroideries.