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Technological nature

Artificial light, towering buildings, the incessant glare of screens and tablets – they can’t be good for us. Designer Leslie Nooteboom has found a way of bringing dappled light back into concrete jungles after realising that even indoor sunlight is becoming scarce.

“These days, buildings are taller than they have ever been, homes become a place of isolation from the outside – windows are absent or so tiny that even the idea of nature disappears, and lighting has become so artificial that there is no sense of day, time or place anymore,” he says.

His invention, called ‘Komorebi’, is a robotic projector that replicates sunlight streaming through windows, or the shadows of leaves swaying in the breeze – precious encounters with nature that we so easily take for granted, yet are vital to our wellbeing.

The product is beautifully designed and easy to move from room to room, creating a dance of light and shadow on the walls of our homes. It consists of a projector, an app so people can upload their own light experiences, and the projection itself, which is coded with an element of randomness to mimic the unpredictable movements of light and shadow.

Nooteboom invented Komorebi while studying at Royal College of Art and Imperial College London. It was his graduation project, but he’s currently searching for a manufacturer to help make his invention a commercial reality.

Komorebi taps into a broader trend as more designers use technology to bring nature indoors. For brands, it represents an opportunity to create products and experiences that make us feel closer to the natural world, replenishing our spirits in the process.