This kaleidoscope-like street lamp is both a a shimmering crystal sculpture and a place to pick up digital messages from friends. The Ommatidium—named after the cells that make up the compound eyes of certain insects—was designed by Samuel Wilkinson as part of London Design Week, but has remained in place even after the event.
Standing at the corner of Old Street in London, from a distance, it looks like a wide, black umbrella. But when you approach and stand underneath the 3.2-meter-wide (about 10 feet) canopy, 1500 hand-cut prisms cast rippling rainbows and reflect the sky above. At night, LEDs flicker on to offer a different kind of street lamp experience.
And there's more. The Ommatidium is augmented with a digital app called Traces by San Francisco-based company Ripple, Inc. It not only allows passersby to access information about local shops, restaurants, routes and more, but also allows you to leave a message for a friend that they can pick up when they pass by the Ommatidium. it's a cool combination of digital and physical design.