If you don’t have air conditioning, or are just trying to keep its use to a minimum, a traditional fan is probably your best friend. Even though a box or oscillating fan doesn’t really change the temperature of the room, its blades circulate air throughout the room, creating a continuous current. The moving air, while it may still be warm, helps activate the body’s natural air conditioning, and we feel relief.
Ceiling fans operate along the same principal, except they move air down from the ceiling and up around the edges of the room, instead of across it like a floor fan. Looking for a way to integrate wind and light together into a new design, Arttu-Matti Immonen decided to incorporate elements of the traditional fan that could be used to create a peaceful indoor air current no matter what the season.
Immonen, a native of Finland who studied product design in Japan, felt that there was one important flaw with traditional fan design. In hot weather, ceiling fans create a breeze, but at least when first turned on, this is the result of hot air being pushed down into the center of the room, which isn’t pleasant. Floor fans can be placed in the corner of the room and angled toward the ceiling, but then there’s no breeze in the center of the room where people tend to gather.
Lumiru, Immonen’s award-winning design [PDF], solves these problems in a beautiful way. Rather than simply designing a fan that would blow harder, thus creating more wind, Lumiru is designed draw in air through the base and eject it out the top. This creates a soft column of air that will move up the edges of the room, falling in the center. Its tall design has a small footprint, so it can create a pleasing effect even while situated in the corner. Coupled with an internal light, it creates a diffused glow while also cooling the room.
Although Immonen doesn’t anticipate that Lumiru will suddenly make the box fan obsolete, it’s an idea with clear commercial potential. Design experts must agree, because it was recently recognized as a student winner of the 2012 Core77 Design Awards.