Polarized portraits is a set of wall lights and lamps that use polarized light to reveal stress patterns in clear plastic, mimicking the function of a polarized light microscope. A concept first born in a former collaboration with a material scientist in a project where science met design called What Matter_s.
Willners research and exploration of the properties of polarized light – an optical phenomenon that occurs when waves of light oscillate in a single plane – led to experiments with light polarizers and different disposable plastics to play with bending, blocking and transforming light and force interference in the plastic to create various colorful material portraits.
In Polarized Portraits Willner sends polarized light through disposable plastic revealing hidden colors and gradient spectrums to draw attention to the dilemmas surrounding plastic waste. Willner’s work plays with the optical phenomenon of polarized light microscopy to create an imaginative x-ray of planet Earth. The pieces examine how disposable plastic can become aesthetic optical art ‘portraits’ of our world, while remaining environmentally harmful plastic waste.