These otherworldly silken ceiling lights that bloom as they descend are the enchanting creations of Dutch designers Studio DRIFT. Called Shylights, they’re awesome kinetic light fixtures inspired by an evolutionary mechanism known as nyctinasty, the circadian rhythmic movement of flowers which close at night for self-defense and to conserve energy.

These particular Shylights are a new permanent installation at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. They open dramatically as they descend 30 feet from the ceiling and then close as they retreat back up to where they started. The dancing lights move according to a choreographed programmed sequence which can be controlled by an iPhone or iPad. Equal parts art installation, sculpture and performance, Shylights represent a stunning combination of technology and the natural world.

“Shylight is a performative sculpture,” says Studio DRIFT in their short video. “When you enter the space, it becomes kind of a dance that is performed in front of you.”
“The satisfaction in our work comes from the moment the audience engages with the piece and they forget where they are, who they are, and they discover this new world between nature and technology.”

Click here to watch a short behind-the-scenes video about how Studio DRIFT created their spectacular Shylights.

Visit the Studio DRIFT website to learn more about this enchanting project.

[via Colossal and Beautiful/Decay]

I haven’t been to the Rijksmuseum since 1999. Maybe it’s time to go back.