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New Philips Design Probe

Light, Air, Sound and Body: the new Philips Design Probe Metamorphosis demonstrates how we have become detached from nature and the effect it has on our sensory experience and lifestyle. 

By Editor / 10-06-2010

Philips Design's new Design Probe Metamorphosis explores how we have become separated from the natural world, both in terms of our surroundings and how we perceive and manage our time. 

While seasons and time awaken powerful instinctive responses in us, the spaces in which we currently live and work do not reflect the changes outside to allow these effects to take place.

Within the themes Light, Air, Sound and Body, the Metamorphosis team has created design concepts that view the home as a filter to limit air pollution, electromagnetic smog, and industrial noise penetrating our living and working space while letting in natural light, air and sound. The concepts work as a filter between people and the natural world from which, over time, people have become detached.


Shimmer is an architectural product concept designed to facilitate well-being through surprise, movement, natural noise management, air movement and natural light dispersion. The ‘stripes’ are based on flexible elements that emit natural light and channel air. They can transform to change the interior characteristics of a space in response to people and the atmospheric/lighting conditions outside.

Healing Bed
Through a fiber-optic bed canopy, natural light is transported from outside to the Healing Bed. Using UV, infra-red and other frequency spectrum filters, the canopy brings daylight and moonlight into the bedroom. Specific therapeutic light frequencies can be filtered for health benefits. The Healing Bed senses biometric signals and produces relaxing natural light effects and sound to enhance the waking experience.

Sun Beam
Natural Light diffuser and reflectors and an array of reflective surfaces scatter natural light piped in via fibre-optic cable. By changing the angle of the reflective elements light can be directed to additional reflectors in the room or to solar powered appliances which are powered with daylight. The active filters change the level of diffusion to affect the ‘mood’ of the light.

Air Tree
Air Tree is designed to ‘breathe’ in rhythm to the airflow outside, maintaining a healthy level of filtered air with subtle changes in humidity. Unlike an air-conditioner or fan that regulates air by channeling constant streams of air, this concept creates variation in the interior atmospheric condition.

Solar Blowbot
The Blowbot is a solar-powered robotic device that senses human presence and activity. It moves around the home generating breezes which are channeled through an inflatable textile bladder. It is powered by solar reflectors and has been designed to 'visualize' air by dramatically inflating and deflating to create directional gusts and breezes.

Sound Barrier
The Sound Barriers are not speakers for audio systems – they are noise filters that show their activity by changing shape. The concepts are all based on the home, office or hospital space functioning as a filter that enables nature to enter our living space while external environmental pollution (noise, chemical, light etc) is filtered out.

Wave Daybed
Wave Daybed is an ever-changing bed based on the natural resting-positions, and transforms to complement your posture and position. It takes the shape of your body, forming the shape until you change position again.

Images 3-10: Shimmer, Healing Bed, Sun Beam, Air Tree, Solar Blowbot, Sound Barrier, Wave Daybed

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