Bringing creativity
to a campus café

Ground Café, Yale University School of Engineering, 
Connecticut, USA


See how light is encouraging creativity and collaboration at Yale University School of Engineering

Philips lighting at Yale ground café

The design concept
for the café

included a large, dynamic LED display from the outset. The knowledge and advice proffered by Philips Color Kinetics was invaluable to us while we were making this concept a reality.”


- Peter Bentel and Richard Charney, Architects


Philips lighting at Yale ground café

Customer challenge


The Ground Café is a hub for the engineers of tomorrow, located on the campus of the Yale University School of Engineering. To attract students from different disciplines and make the café a center of interaction, the University installed a unique digital lighting concept there.

Philips lighting at Yale ground café

The right lighting 


The University had big plans for the Ground Café. It was intended not just as an enjoyable eating area, but also as a place that would inspire creativity and collaboration amongst students. The University decided to beautify the Café with an exciting design concept, using hi-tech features not seen anywhere else on campus.


A fresh slice of creativity was soon served up. Architects from Bentel & Bentel Architecture Firm, along with Charney Architects and the Yale School of Engineering & Applied Science, envisioned a digital light canvas. As the centerpiece of the Café’s design, the canvas would display engineering research as art upon the walls of the room.

We had the perfect ingredient for the digital canvas: LED lighting. Bentel & Bentel mounted strands of Philips Color Kinetics iColor Flex MX over 450 square feet (42 m²) of the café wall and ceiling. They then mapped each LED node on the strand with a Philips Color Kinetics Video System Manager Pro. The Café walls are now awash with dynamic color displays that foster feelings of creativity amongst students. The light patterns shift and change, symbolizing the role of engineering as a bridge between the sciences and humanities.

iColor Flex MX gen2

iColor Flex MX gen2 are flexible strands of high-intensity, full-color LED nodes designed for extraordinary effects and expansive installations without the constraints of fixture size, shape, or space.


Product information

iColor Flex MX gen2

Inspiring students
with light in Connecticut

The Team

Yale School of Engineering


Standard Builders


Peter Bentel from Bentel & Bentel


Rich Charney from Cahrney Architects


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