At Salone del Mobile 2017, the winning designers were invited to develop a new prototype or design statement within their selected field that is inspired or informed by Swarovski crystal. Given the theme ‘Shaping Societies’, the installation at Design Miami/ Basel 2017 coalesces the work of the three individual winners into one complete environment.
With an eye on aesthetic yet sustainable solutions for the future, Marjan van Aubel worked with Swarovski and the Energy Research Centre of the Netherlands to develop a series of three living-light objects using solar technology.
Cyanometer absorbs the sun’s energy via a solar cell integrated within a faceted plano-convex crystal specially developed by Swarovski. The energy stored within the crystal solar cell is then used to power the light pieces, which were inspired by the form of a cyanometer, invented in 1789 to measure the intensity of the colour of the sky.
Van Aubel replicates the colours of the original device, using opal Swarovski crystal and LED technology to mirror the changing colours of the sky.
Meanwhile, the Tokyo-based Takt Project collaborated with Micron3DP to produce Ice Crystal, a range of 3D-printed Swarovski crystal vases and containers in shapes and textures that have never been seen before.
The Ice Crystal objects would be impossible to achieve with traditional glass molding, blowing or cutting. Unlike most 3D-printing machines, the Micron3DP machine does not have to print continuously and can skip from one part of the design to another. This gives the designer the freedom to create complex structures and cavities within the crystal.
The objects by Takt Project are illuminated by Marjan van Aubel’s lighting, and both are housed within Terrazzo Palazzo: the overarching architectural environment designed by Jimenez Lai for the installation. Unifying the installation, Lai’s deconstructed palazzo consists of freestanding structures that are made from a pioneering new Swarovski-crystal terrazzo.
The material upcycles so-called ‘second quality’ crystal which failed to pass Swarovski’s strict quality standards, allowing Swarovski to utilize these crystals in a viable product.