Sensitile: The Infusion of Light into Material

When searching for an innovative material earlier this semester, I remember stumbling across one called Sensitile.  Although I do believe that a couple groups used it in their preliminary studies, mine did not.  After stumbling over it again I decided to take a better look, and I’m glad that I did.  Sensitile, which is based out of Michigan, is a rapidly growing company as their products are becoming increasingly popular around the world (2).  They have many different product lines, but all of them are centered around the ability to use or play with light.  Some of them emit it, while others simply refract it to make it appear to shimmer or flash (2).

Throughout the semester we have discussed numerous materials, and one property that kept popping up was the ability for a material to respond to us.  Since I could go on and on with how each of their products do this, I will focus on just one.  The product that does a particularly good job in my mind with human interaction is Sensitile Terrazzo.  The Terrazzo, “is composed of a fine concrete mix with embedded light conducting channels (1).”  These slabs and tiles “shift shimmer and twinkle in response to shadows, light and movement creating a playful, living surface (1).”  These tiles are generally used for floors but can also be used on walls.  In addition to the fact that this material is able to interact with us, Sensitile has that rare aesthetic quality we are so often looking for through its use of combining light and stone.


This is and image of Sensitile Terrazzo Lumina, one of their light emitting products





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