Material of the Month, September 2015: Ombrae System

Material of the Month, September 2015: Ombrae System

Posted 22 September 2015 by Angelique Blankson

What is the Ombrae system?

The Ombrae System is a treatment, developed by artist Rod Quin, which allows for full reflective control in a material.

Using computer digital processing and state of the art CNC manufacturing, the Ombrae System creates three dimensional pixels – optical tiles. Each optical tile is a beveled, cylindrical ‘pixel’ with an angled surface that reflects finely controlled values of light, thus generating an output that not only recreates the original source in a selected material, but does so in a way that adds an enhanced and dynamic 3D effect to the original source input.

There are no traditional photographic materials or processes involved; no paint, laminated layers, printed dyes or inks- “the material is the image – the image is the material”.

What are its advantages?

  • Subtle, sophisticated decoration
  • Eliminates secondary processing
  • Compatible with injection moulding when pattern is applied to the mould
  • Wide range of pixel dimensions available

Ombrae offers an array of advantages beyond the visual. It impresses any surface with sound attenuation, non-slip treading, sun shading and thermal insulation, making it possible to create uniquely aesthetic solutions for architecture, interior design, landscape, retail and commercial design.

The industry continues to explore and push three-dimensional depth onto flat surfaces. The concept of Ombrae is about linking the trend of pixilated gradation with tactile micro patterns to design a surface that reveals itself to users through an interplay with light and it seems its versatility is only limited by one’s imagination.

Here developer Rod Quin explains the inspiration behind this innovative process: