I.M.Pei Learning from light, inspiration for UI Design

I watched on ABC iview last night a documentary on I.M.Pei Learning from light and one part stood out for me in with Pei’s absolute obsession with the sunlight lit building and the geometric facets which make the building interesting.

With a history in 3D art i’ve experienced weeks on end adjusting lighting systems to emulate that natural lighting effects of bouncing light (ray tracing) and the bleed of colour in that transfer (Radiocity), and dirty textures but have always preferred minimalistic flat design when it comes to UI more of a subscription to the concept of function over form.

So in my journey of design i’m interested on how sunlight and geometry can still play a part in UI design without needing to emulate real world objects with the standard shadow effect which epitomises much of the skeuomorphizm in UI design today.

Interestingly with Apple’s move away from the imitation of real world objects (skeuomorphizm) towards flat design, I realised the inclusion of opaque geometry above somewhat flat textures is actually a blend of both (not sure if this is intentional) and this play on light and therefore still Skeumorphic, maybe just another evolution of the design method.

I think i’ve been trying to free myself from what is correct in the emulation of real world objects while still exploring the facets of geometry and what sunlight can translate to in my designs to give the UI form while still maintaining the minimalistic (and now popular flat) style of UI design.

Thanks Pei for helping me conceptualise this a little more.

The link: http://www.abc.net.au/iview/#/view/40218

And stay tuned via: http://dribbble.com/aidangreen