Reflux visualizes streams of people in a simple way. Inspired by water reflections, it translates the seemingly chaotic movements into simple and understandable waves.
When it registers the sound of a crowd, a tidal movement is initiated into a grid of magnets. This forms a wave that follows the same path as the people who initiate it, only it’s simplified by the resonating characteristics of the magnet grid. We project this simplified wave by making light reflect on a hundred small mirrored tiles attached to the magnet grid.
In a public space like a train station or a market square, it can make people more aware of the patterns in their movement. By showing a deduction of the complex movements inside a crowd, dominant streams become more visible.
In this one-semester project, conducted together with Gijs de Boer, we aimed to translate the quality of natural light and its constant movement into an artificial light installation. We started with field explorations in which we observed and distilled to get the essence of various light sources from nature. A light effect we were fascinated by in particular was the fluent movement of light reflecting on water, projected on the wall of a bridge. We then experimented a lot with materials and low-fidelity prototypes and ultimately discovered that an installation based on repulsing magnets would perfectly translate the simplifying fluency of the water movement.