Fast Company

The Beauty of Fiber Optic Concrete, Yes, Fiber Optic Concrete

Architect Kengo Kuma experiments with a new type of concrete, with tantalizing possibilities and "Unknown Pleasures."

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Perhaps you've heard of translucent concrete? Well, it's got nothing on Luccon, which genius architect Kengo Kuma (whom we just covered) is using in a spellbinding installation titled Con/Fiber.

Luccon is made of fiber optic strands called Eska which are embedded in layers, into blocks of concrete, like a lasagna. While the blocks have the strength and weight of concrete, the fiber optics transmit light through them:

But what's more, the size of the image appearing on the other side of the block depends on it's thickness. So, for example, Kuma installed these blocks so that they can be looked at through the corner--and that creates a 1.8x magnification of whatever's on the other side. Kuma hopes that the tech could be paired with projectors, to create building facades with the character of both concrete and media walls.

Kuma's installation was first shown in 2009 at an amazing exhibit in Tokyo called Senseware. But on Friday, the show is being reprised in Israel, at the newly opened Design Museum Holon.

As for inspiration, let's just presume Kuma's clearly a Joy Division fan.

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