Now that I’m sure that dielectric liquids are a plausible alternative to heatsinks, the next challenge is to define a concept which profits not only from the cooling nature of the liquid but also from it’s other properties. When examining the lamp, you should be able to discover what it’s about – you should realise that there’s a liquid inside, it should be honest and it should tell a story. So, what makes liquids what they are – what makes them perceptible?
- Surface Movement (Light, Refractions, Floating Objects)
- Transformable Nature of Fluids (They adapt to their container)
- Submerged Movement (Drifting Particles/Objects) Note: Mechanically/Rigid moving objects are only perceivable as being in a fluid when it is murky.
- Other Phenomena (Bubbles, Typhoons, Visual Hot/Cold Rifts, Coloured Streams)
I defined various concepts based on each of these characteristics but a favourite was quickly identified.
The basic idea is to colour silicone oil so that it becomes murky. Murky fluids have an interesting property in that they absorb light relative to their depth. The deeper it is, the darker it becomes. This is similar to translucent materials but it’s a fluid and objects can freely move through it. So when a light source moves through it, the deeper it gets the darker it becomes; effectively dimming the light. The cool part is that if the fluid is coloured, the light also takes on this colour, and when it comes back up to the surface it is pure white!
All images © René Walk
I made a functional prototype to prove this concept which you can watch on this VIDEO!