Eye of Atlas

Eye of Atlas

Groene Loper 3, Het Eeuwsel 53

How do we see? How does light contribute to sight? Humanity has researched these questions for millennia, and the answers have continuously changed. In Ancient Greece, nearly 2500 years ago, Empedocles answered this question as follows: We see through sending a special kind of light, “Visual Fire”, out of our eyes. When this light touches an object, our eyes feel this touch, and this makes us see the object. For GLOW, we gave the Atlas building, named after an ancient Greek figure, this kind of sight. Atlas’ radiant eye is eager to make connections and curiously explores all activity at the campus. The Visual Fire from the eye lights up everything it touches, including the streets, artworks and visitors. Follow his glowing gaze, and experience how it continuously transforms campus. Can you grab his attention?

Realising this ancient concept of vision could only happen using the highly modern lighting systems at TU/e campus. The intelligent lighting system in Atlas, called Smart Energy-saving Lighting, contributed to Atlas’ title of the most sustainable education building in the world (BREEAM). It is also used for research into the impact of light on people, just like the computer-controlled street lighting featured in this project.

Would you like to learn more about this installation? Listen to the [email protected]/e Tour podcast episode.

Listen to the podcast


Philip Ross designs intelligent luminaires and lighting environments. Central in his work is the concept of Transformational Lighting Design: the idea that light has the power to positively influence people’s experiences and behaviours. Philip is alumnus of TU/e (PhD Industrial Design) and combines his backgrounds as designer, researcher and light artist in his work at Studio Philip Ross. Philip is project- and artistic leader of this year’s contribution to GLOW of TU/e.

Max Frimout is a sound artist from Eindhoven, with a background in engineering physics at TU/e. He studies Sonology at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague, where he focusses on generative composition and algorithmic music. Max’ compositions combine spatial descriptions of sound with storytelling in an improvisational manner. His methods for music production include the use of analog modular synthesis, field recording, composing with algorithms, digital processing of acoustical instruments and more.

The team further consists of Thijs Koenraadt and Kelvin Keultjes (Computer Science TU/e), Jesper Kapteijns (Industrial Design, TU/e), Özge Karaman Madan (Architecture PhD, TU/e) and Serge Offermans and Teun Vinken (Interactive Matter).

Partners: Studio Philip Ross, Intelligent Lighting Institute TU/e, Interactive Matter, Signify, Unica, TU/e services.


Philip Ross (concept and design), Max Frimout (sound design), Thijs Koenraadt, Kelvin Keultjes, Serge Offermans, Teun Vinken, Jesper Kapteijns and Özge Karaman Madan.