For the next few weeks I’ll be working on a light fixture for Light and Interactivity.

My light is inspired by the personal experience of being in a long term long distance relationship.

My plan is to create two reading lights to go above the headboards of two separate beds. They will function in two or three ways (the third is undecided – needs further thought)

  1. As a standalone reading light, perhaps with an auto-off feature after an hour or so (I sometimes fall asleep with the reading light on)
  2. As a subtle presence device for long distance partners. Currently my thought is that by touching one of the fixtures, the connected light will gently pulse; just enough to let the other person know you’re thinking of them, but not so much to interfere with their reading. Perhaps a reach goal here would be to have a ‘hold’ function, where if both lights are being touched the pulse intensifies.
  3. (This is the one I’m not sure about yet) Sometimes after I fall asleep with the light on my partner will turn it off. I wish I could say vice-versa but she’s too conscientious to fall asleep with a light on. So maybe there’s something in giving control of the other light to each fixture. But that could raise a few different questions; of agency, of who’s job it is to turn the lights off, not to mention the technical difficulties.


I started throwing together concept sketches for what this lamp could look like. As of now I think a feasible option is a strip of LEDs in a square aluminium bar with one long side open. The LEDs face the open side, which has a thin layer of diffusion on it.

The ends of the bar could be capped with 3D printed caps, that could perhaps double as the housing for the electricals.