Thursday, May 06, 2010

MILAN: Salone del Mobile 2010 - Swarovski Crystal Palace

Seen at Swarovski Crystal Palace - Architects and Designers. FROST designed by Vincent Van Duysen for Swarovski Crystal Palace.  Vincent Van Duysen has created a highly versatile glowing ‘beam’ encrusted with Swarovski crystals. The design can either be used on its own – suspended above a table for example or leant against the corner of a room – or joined together as modular elements to create dramatic architectural shapes. The surface of each bar features a ‘crust’ of randomly assorted, different sized crystals set into resin. Sandwiched between the crystal exteriors is a thin glass panel which gives the ‘beams’ their structure and rigidity while also acting as a vehicle for the LED lighting within.  Van Duysen, comments on the way in which Swarovski crystals bring out an element of playfulness in the design process; “They remind you of natural elements like water and ice, and allow you to bring in more poetic and emotional aspects to lighting design.” He also comments on the pleasingly contradictory nature of the crystals used in this design, with the outer ‘crust’ having a temptingly tactile quality while actually being quite rough to the touch.

Seen at Swarovski Crystal Palace.  Nadja Swarovski.  “Our designer collaborations not only push the boundaries of the designers’ own work, but also the use of Swarovski crystal artistically decoratively and functionally.” She stated.

Seen at Swarovski Crystal Palace - Architects and Designers. Sparks designed by Gwenaël Nicolas for Swarovski Crystal Palace.  “I wanted to imagine a space with no gravity,” Gwenaël Nicolas explains of his project, which consists of two separate designs. The first item is almost, “not an object anymore,” where, “crystal and light become life.” Nicolas has created a large, free-floating, transparent balloon filled with helium, inside which floats a small crystal sculpture lit from within by battery powered LED. The balloon, draws on NASA technology to enable it to be as thin and transparent as possible. The LED light emanating through the crystal within sets off a series of ‘sparks’ which move as the balloon and crystal gently float through the room.
Above: a separate design consists of a 10m long string of crystal incorporating LED lighting that is programmed to set off more ‘sparks’ which jump along the length of the rope. The viewer will therefore not necessarily notice the rope per se but be more aware of the movement of light along an axis through the room.
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