A British and Canadian design duo have created a unique streetlight that casts the shadow of the previous passerby onto the footpath as you walk through the pool of light.

Designed by British architecture student Matthew Rosier and Canadian interaction designer Jonathan Chomko, ‘Shadowing’ combines a street lamp with an infared camera and projection technology to create an interactive experience for pedestrians who walk under the unit’s beacon.

The camera and projection technology are housed in normal streetlights that were provided by the local council of Bristol. The camera records the shadow of a passerby before the projection technology casts it onto the ground as a solid dark image when something else passes through to create an artificial shadow effect. If there is no pedestrians the light will loop through previous recordings until someone walks beneath and re-triggers the camera.

The camera can record animals as well as people and was installed in eight locations on the streets of Bristol for two months in 2014.

“Shadowing offers passers-by a glimpse of those who have walked the same path moments, days or weeks before, at times like ghostly time travellers, at others more like a more playful Peter Pan,” said Mattew Rosier on his website.

“As well as peeling back the traces of the city’s nooks and crannies, Shadowing offers an exploration of the disconnectedness that technology can create between strangers, the role of light in creating a city’s character, and the unseen data layers and surveillance culture that pervades our contemporary urban spaces.”

Images and Video courtesy of Mathew Rosier