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Workshop on User Interaction Techniques for Future Lighting Systems

September 5, 2011: Lisbon, Portugal
in conjunction with Interact (

Workshop Setup

The focus of this workshop was on formulating key research challenges for user interaction with future lighting systems, creating initial design guidelines, and proposing novel interaction techniques for these systems. The main goals of the workshop were:

  1. Take a first step toward expanding the scope of interactive technologies to include new forms of decorative, ambient, and task lighting;
  2. Identify key challenges of UI for controlling new forms of lighting systems;
  3. Establish a link with existing interaction paradigms that can be (re-)used for control of future lighting systems.

Presented Papers

“MeShirt: concepts for provocation and promotion”; Alessandrini Andrea, Erik Grönvall, Paola Manuli, Valentina Senesi, Simona Melaragni and Maria Teresa Oliviero
“Towards Efficient Illumination Control for Underground Parking”; Paulo Carreira and Renato Nunes
“Sematic Light”; Zary Segall, Chad Eby and Pietro Lungaro
“User Interface for Task Lighting in Open Office”; Koen van Boerdonk, Jon Mason, Dzmitry Aliakseyeu
“Interacting with Light Apps and Platforms”; Serge Offermans, Harm van Essen, Berry Eggen
“The future of interaction with light and lighting dynamics”; Jon Mason, Jettie Hoonhout, Lillian Jumpertz

 Download Proceedings (pdf, 2.7 Mb)

Creative Session

In the afternoon part of the workshop, we held a creative session with the goal to generate innovative user interaction ideas for future lighting systems.


First, the participants brainstormed about the potential who (‘Who is controlling the lighting system?’), what (‘What elements of the lighting system are being controlled?’), where (‘In which context is the lighting system used’), and why (‘Why is the user controlling the light’) of a future lighting system. Subsequently, three arbitrary combinations of who, what, where, and when were made. These combinations were the starting point for a group to create a mood board reflecting the envisioned future lighting system.



The aim for this workshop was to explore three aspects of lighting and its control. The first aspect was to expand the scope of interaction technology to include lighting control. From the discussion and output of this workshop it appears that this is indeed possible and necessary should we want to ensure a future with light that we can control and enjoy. The second aim was to determine the challenges for future UI. With the aid of mood board generation, it became clear that light is complex and varied enough to require further investigation into how it should be controlled. A long list of potential research topics was also generated that provides a starting point from which to explore this topic area. The third aspect was to identify interaction paradigms that could be utilized for the purpose of lighting control and at this early stage, the prop session resulted in inspiring ideas for tangible interaction.
It became clear that putting the new forms lighting at the service of humans is a highly relevant research topic that will have to be pursued in multidisciplinary fashion drawing contributions from experts in areas such as illumination, computer science, communication sciences, among other.
Using the research topics identified during the workshop the follow up workshop that is focusing on combining intelligent control systems with explicit user control is being organized.


Emile Aarts, Philips Research (The Netherlands)
Dzmitry Aliakseyeu, Philips Research (The Netherlands)
Jon Mason, Philips Research (The Netherlands)
Bernt Meerbeek, Philips Research (The Netherlands)
Harm van Essen, Industrial Design department of the Eindhoven University of Technology (The Netherlands)
Serge Offermans, Industrial Design department of the Eindhoven University of Technology (The Netherlands)
Andrés Lucero, Nokia Research Center (Finland)

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