Fiber optics is the marriage of applied science and engineering concerning design and application of optic fibers. Optical fibers are widely used in fiber-optic communications permitting transmission of signals over long distances and at much higher bandwidths than other forms of communication. Fibers are used instead of metal wires because signals travel along them with no susceptibility to interference and less loss of signal. Fibers are growingly used for illumination, and are wrapped in bundles so they can be used to carry images, thus allowing viewing in tight spaces.
Fibers are widely used in illumination applications. They are used in medical applications where bright light needs to be shone on a target without a clear line-of-sight path. In some buildings, optical fibers are used to route sunlight from the roof to other parts of the building. Optical fiber illumination is also used for decorative applications, including signage, art, displays and artificial lighting displays.
A piece previously exhibited in MADE Design's cooler in Toronto exhibition is a fibre optic table lamp. The coloured light forms planes that create a proxy lamp within the boundaries of the casing.http://mocoloco.com/archives/010786.php
Optical fiber is an intrinsic part of the light-transmitting concrete building product, LiTraCon. Developed in 2001 by Hungarian architect Aron Losonczi and scientists from the Technical University of Budapest, LiTraCon is 'light transmitting concrete'. Made of fine concrete embedded with 4% (by weight) of optical glass fiber, and can be purchased as large blocks. The most notable installation of it to date is Europe Gate a 4 m high sculpture made of LiTraCon blocks, erected in 2004 in observance of the entry of Hungary into the European Union. The product won the German "Red Dot 2005 Design Award" for 'highest design qualities'. Though expensive, Litracon appeals to architects because it is stronger than glass and translucent unlike concrete.
Optical fiber is now used regularly in everyday products, for novelty lighting, see frisby below, andhas even made its way into fashion. As it is a safe light to touch, with a long lasting lighting life, it has been incorporated into shoes and clothing.
More recently, fiber optic has been used in signage and digital screens, and has made its way into architecture, in the form of large building facades and screen technologies.
Digital elements were incorporated in the building design from the beginning, rather than being 'tacked on' toward the end of a project, which resulted in a successful, innovative building with its digital technologies an integral part of the experience of visiting this exceptional building.
In the words of ESI founder Edwin Schlossberg, in regards to this building, "I like to design something where the story is composed by the people participating in it. It's a sign of where we're going, and we're just beginning that odyssey now."