Sweet screens

For the sake of your health, I do not recommend reading this text after 10 PM. But if you have homemade sweets up your sleeve, then this is a whole different story.

„90 percent of Americans used some type of electronics at least a few nights per week within one hour before bedtime”. Is this fact related to the epidemic of sleep disorders? The study published in the „Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences” magazine shows that the use of light-emitting electronic devices such as smartphones, tablets and laptops for reading, communication and entertainment before bedtime „prolongs the time it takes to fall asleep, delays the circadian clock, suppresses levels of the sleep-promoting hormone melatonin, reduces the amount and delays the timing of REM sleep, and reduces alertness the following morning (…), which can have adverse impacts on performance, health, and safety”. To be more precisely, the blue light plays the role of the bad guy. If you are interested in more scientific details, you can find them here.

If you are reading this article in the evening, you should turn off your device immediately and return to reading in the morning. Fortunately, there is another solution. It’s easy, cheap and does not require engineering or advanced technology. You can make a proper filter at your home. If you like sweets, you will be delighted.


To take care of your health condition, you can run into the kitchen and cook something incredibly sweet. The good news is that you are going to prepare a plate of caramel. The bad news is that the candy is not supposed to be eaten – instead of your tongue, the caramel will touch the screen of your electronic device. At least this is the advice given by strong-willed young designers Federica Dellisanti and Tinka Jongerius.

Sugar Protection Filter Federica Dellisanti Tinka Jongerius Ventura Lambrate
From the left: Tinka Jongerius (b. in 1993 in Belgium) and Federica Dellisanti (b. in 1990 in Italy), students of Interior Architecture and Retail Design master program at the Piet Zwart Institute in Rotterdam.

Sugar Protection Filter made of a caramel does not transmit the blue light emitted by an electronic screen. Sugar usually accused of having a disastrous effect on human body and produced in excess in such countries as the Netherlands, this time played the role of a guardian of good health and well-being.

Sugar Protection Filter zoom Ventura Lambrate

The caramel is placed between two transparent plates made of plastic. Without such protection, the candy could quickly become an unhealthy dinner. The range of orange shades is based on the natural process of caramelization.

Sugar Protection Filter colors Ventura Lambrate

Apparently SPF was not created to conquer the commercial market – it is a student project signalling the problem of sleep disorders caused by the evening usage of electronic devices. If you attach this filter to your smartphone or tablet, you would not be able to use the touchscreen. SPF could only work with a laptop or as caramel glasses lenses. I think that some advertising agency in consultation with Tinka and Federica should continue this idea and create a marketing campaign for a brand of candy.

Sugar Protection Filter Tinka Jongerius Ventura Lambrate credits Trend Nomad
Tinka Jongerius working hard at the „Next Habitat” exhibition. Photography: Trend Nomad

SPF was the one of the exhibit shown at „Next Habitat” exhibition that was held in Milan during the design week (13–19th of April 2015) at Ventura Lambrate district. Tinka Jongerius, who I met at the venue, will be more than happy to answer any questions or concerns regarding SPF project you may have: tinka.jongerius@gmail.com.

P.S. There is another way to solve the sleep disorder problem caused by the blue light emitted by screens. Instead of staring at a computer or a smartphone, you can read a printed book in the evenings. From all available data carriers, the oldest one has the fewest drawbacks.

Next Habitat

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