Would a fake cloud ceiling make you feel more serene in the office?


A group of inventive German engineers has created a ‘dynamic luminous ceiling’, which basically means they’ve brought the illusion of being outside inside.

The team, based in Stutgartt, Germany, believes that if your brain thinks it’s outside under the clouds it’ll be much easier to focus and work away in a happy, serene office rather than getting panicked and flustered every time the phone rings.

The ceiling may look like a child’s bedroom wall, but it isn’t just big fluffy clouds painted onto some tiles, the clever technology enables the light levels to change and mimic how the sun would shine through clouds on a typical day (not a typical day in the UK obviously, then there’d need to be a sprinkler system fitted).

The ceiling is made up of lots and lots of tiny tiles and each has 288 LEDs inside it in different colours to create more than 16 million hues, which again are all designed to mimic the subtle changes in daylight.

Dr. Matthias Bues, head of the team developing the crazy ceiling, said:

“The LEDs allow us to simulate these dynamic changes in lighting in a way that is not directly obvious to the naked eye. Otherwise the lighting might distract people from their work. But it does need to fluctuate enough to promote concentration and heighten alertness.”

The idea may seem a little strange and like working in a Dali painting, but according to recent studies, many participants admitted feeling much more productive when they’re sitting under the (fake) clouds as apposed to sitting in a regular dull office.

The virtual sky will be exhibited at the CeBIT trade fair in Hannover later this year.

[Via io9 Image via Fraunhofer]
Becca Caddy