Ville Turunen

Senior University Lecturer
Department of Mathematics and Systems Analysis, Aalto University
Espoo, Finland

My research deals with symmetries of signals in space and time, with Fourier and abstract harmonic analysis on groups. The formal vocabularies resulting from the spatial manifestations of these ideas are used in these lamp shades to create optimal secondary light, without wasting material. Though reminiscent of modernist designer lamps and patterns in nature, this is purely incidental. In the chosen parameters, factorizations of natural numbers result in aesthetics of harmonic proportions.

Phase Space Symmetries
Phase Space Symmetries
40 x 40 x 40 cm
3D printed ABS plastic, LED light bulbs (Photograph by Erwin Laiho)

Poul Henningsen (1894-1967) designed his PH lamps in order to provide pleasant indirect light, and our work takes such ideas to the extremes. Think of a transparent round light bulb as the unit sphere, with the light source in the origin. Assume single reflections of a constant angle by the lamp shade, which clicks onto the sphere, and thus not needing any need other supporting structures. Exploiting the Euclidean symmetries, exponential functions, and spherical harmonics appear in the formulas. In the sketches of all the resulting forms, I have hidden spheres, cylinders, and cubes, as well as regular polygons: triangles, squares, hexagons. The factorizations of the number 12 play a special role, like the hours on the clock face.