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3 Highly Innovative Installations Using Crystals

At the 11th edition of Design Miami/ Basel, three new installations by winners of the Swarovski Designers of the Future Award 2016 were presented. The projects included a touch-sensitive light wave, a series of crystal objects for the home, and an instrumental sound piece.

3 Highly Innovative Installations Using Crystals

Top image: Unda by Anjali Srinivasan

The Swarovski Designers of the Future Award honours a select group of emerging young creatives who venture beyond the constraints of product creation. In their work, they draw from multiple disciplines to present potential future directions in design. Recipients of the award are given an opportunity to create an installation using crystals, leveraging on Swarovski’s traditional and high-tech expertise.

Winners of this year’s award were Anjali Srinivasan, Studio Brynjar & Veronika and Yuri Suzuki, and each was invited to consider the notion of ‘betterment’ in their creative process. They were tasked to “address the quality of interaction between people and the designed world around them,” an apt topic in the industry today. The installations were presented at Design Miami/Basel from 14 to 19 June 2016.

Unda by Anjali Srinivasan

Unda by Anjali Srinivasan

“Crystal is a highly engaging material because it is a solid object that creates visual effects that you cannot touch,” says artist and entrepreneur Anjali Srinivasan.

Srinivasan’s contribution, Unda, was inspired by human gestures and a desire to highlight the significance of light in people’s lives. At six-metre long, Unda depicts a crystal wave that illuminates when touched. It follows a finger trail that triggers a light source, which travels across the crystal surface before fading away when human contact ceases. The installation offers therapeutic visual effects while generating a rare tactile experience with light.

Unda by Anjali Srinivasan

The crystal wave is made up of glass elements developed by Srinivasan and Swarovski Touch Crystal, using a new touch-sensitive technology. The 1,500 Touch Crystals have a coating that reacts to touch and transfers impulse to a specially developed and concealed circuit board, which possesses LED technology. Enforcing collaboration, the beginning of the structure is composed of 3,000 Swarovski crystals and 5,000 glass pieces blown in Srinivasan’s studio in Dubai. Srinivasan has been working with molten glass for more than 15 years.

Currents by Studio Brynjar & Veronika

Currents by Studio Brynjar & Veronika

With a storytelling approach associated with Icelandic culture, Studio Brynjar & Veronika developed Currents, a three-part installation that documents various interactions between natural light and crystals. The elements may be perceived as artistic ‘homewares’ that propose to bring the natural world into domestic environments, creating unexpected moments of lighting beauty at home.

Currents by Studio Brynjar & Veronika

Thirty customised prismatic slats form a functional window blind that imposes a rainbow visual effect in the room when hit by light. Similarly, a set of decorative crystal sticks create shadows and translate light into quiet colour projections, thanks to the transparency and materiality of crystal.

Currents by Studio Brynjar & Veronika

A series of crystal tiles, cleverly made using a 3D water scan, reflects light in a way that water does. Ethereal reflections of liquid crystals are projected without the presence of water.

Currents by Studio Brynjar & Veronika

Studio Brynjar & Veronika shared that they were inspired by their visit in Wattens where they witnessed how Swarovski creates crystals out of natural materials and its high-tech processes. “It’s a mystical, magical place, and it left us feeling really inspired for this project. We love to dive into new mediums and crystal is a whole new challenge,” they say.

Sharevari by Yuri Suzuki

Sharevari by Yuri Suzuki

The final installation, Sharevari, by London-based Japanese sound artist Yuri Suzuki, explored crystal as an acoustic material. “I was very excited to investigate how the vibrations in crystals can be interpreted as sound,” says Suzuki.

The interactive ‘crystallophone’ instrument is composed of 16 brass mechanical structures, each one featuring a handmade crystal form that represents a musical tone defined by its diameter. When brass hammers hit the crystal, vibrations form and translate into sound. Created in collaboration with Swarovski’s engineers in Austria, Sharevari was informed by calculated harmonic frequencies. The audience got to experience original compositions conceived by Suzuki, and were given an opportunity to conduct harmonies with a network of sensors.

Sharevari by Yuri Suzuki


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