Cupola and Skygarden – Pendants with a Meaning

PENDANT LUMINAIRES AS MASTERPIECES OF VIRTUOSITY

Recently, my attention was drawn to an inspirational article in the PLDC Newsletter including a ‘parable in light’. From time to time, it’s astonishing to learn how traditional efforts and present day design find each other in exclusive luminaire productions. Here are two stunning pendants  that very well reflect this merger of craftmanship and 21st century technology, be it both in a very different style. I happily share some of my personal favorites with you.

Cupola: A hyper-realistic Reproduction of the St. Peter Basilica in Vatican Rome

The Cupola pendant luminaire is a hyper-realistic reproduction of the St. Peter Basilica Dome in the Vatican, one of the most significant Roman Catholic churches around the globe. The luminaire, exquisitely designed by Studio AMeBE from Milan, Italy, combines the very essences of meaning in a georgeous lighting masterpiece.

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On the inner surface of the luminaire there are miniature representations of all the scenes found in the real St. Peter’s dome, and the outer surface resembles the ornate decorations on the Basilica building itself. The suspension wire and the power cable run through the silver cross that tops the pendant dome.

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Theoretically speaking, it may well soon be possible to enjoy the glory of this incredible work of art from the comfort of your own home. Production is limited to 15 pieces only, each of them hand made. Price unknown. Potential buyers will need to ensure they have a sufficiently large space in which to install the “chandelier” – the dome is made of synthetic resin, nylon and fibreglass and measures 100 by 110 centimetres in diameter.

The suspended dome is illuminated inside and out. Dimmable LEDs are mounted within the rim on the outside, and an LED source installed in the oculus radiates light evenly over the painted inner surface. The LED light sources can be controlled via iPhone or iPad.

Marcodevisser.com_Skygarden Close by Marcel Wanders for Flos

Skygarden by Marcel Wanders for FLOS

The Skygarden is inspired by a fabulous antique decorated plaster ceiling in Wanders own house. He named it “my Skygarden”. He loved the concept so much that by the time he moved the house, he could not leave it and had to find a way to take it to his next home. He took his tools and stole it from the ceiling.

This fabulous piece of history is now secretly hidden in a minimalist architectural sphere in the heart of his new home where he enjoys it with friends. It comes in both a pendant and a recessed version.

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‘Cupola’ by Studio AMeBE and ‘Skygarden’ by Marcel Wanders. Pictures in this post are courtesy of the respectively named studio and designer.

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Will Luminous Trees be our Future Street Lights?

It may sound lightyears ahead, but in the near future, bioluminescent trees could easily replace Street Lights. Or would it be the road itself lighting the way? Bioluminescence, the ability of small organisms to behave like living night-lights, could lead to some remarkable advances in the public space. Here are some of the greatest examples we’ve ever seen!

Bioluminescence – The Invention

Bioluminescence was “invented” dozens of times in evolutionary history. Scientists may now be able to explain not only why certain mushrooms glow in the dark, but they are nearer to create glowing trees as a novel form of street lighting.

Swapping streetlights with giant light-emitting plants or trees using biomimicry techniques by Daan Roosegaarde.

Daan Roosegaarde – Lighting the Way

Dutch designer Daan Roosegaarde – known from astonishing projects such as ‘Waterlight‘ and ‘Rainbow Station‘, among many others – is hoping to employ biomimicry to transform your average street-side trees into beacons of light. Like the luminescent abilities of jellyfish, mushrooms or fireflies, splicing DNA from luminescent marine bacteria would open a world of opportunities!

Glow in the Dark

Naturalists in the early 19th century identified fungal growth as the source of the glow from wooden support beams used to shore up mines. Many fungi and mushrooms are now known to glow in the dark, and explanations for why they do it range from it being a useless by-product of metabolism to a sophisticated anti-predator adaptation. The best explanation seems to be that the night-light attracts insects and other animals to the fruiting bodies of fungi, who then spread the spores far and wide.

Glowing ‘Van Gogh Bicycle Path’ by Daan Roosegaarde

Fireflies

Fireflies are likely the best known example of bioluminescence in nature. The insect controls the light it emits from its light organ by adding oxygen to a mix of other chemicals involved in the light-emitting reaction. As larvae, the light acts as a warning to predators that they don’t taste very nice, and as adults the light is used to identify members of the same species and to attract the opposite sex.

Bioluminescence – The Future!

I am thrilled to see how bioluminescent technology finds its way in various in- and outdoor applications and how it contributes to a safer world! I am sure this is just the beginning of many more to come!

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Light-at-Play: Projecting a Color Globe onto Various Objects and Surfaces

A light or image projector is a top class module that includes an optical device for a targeted projection straight from a light source. It is used to project an image (or if you like moving images) onto a certain surface, commonly a projection screen or whiteboard. In this application, however, I assembled a small light projector and embedded a 3D printed color surface into it. After that, I’ve been doing some trial & error work in various settings. Come and see how wonderful this works out when the light ‘paints’ various objects and surfaces in my backyard.

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Light-at-Play – A Hexagonal Lens Array illuminated by a projected Color Globe.

 

Light Projection: The Principles

The idea behind most projector lights is creating an image or concentrated hot spot by shining the light through a small transparent lens, for example to accentuate an object. The narrower the beam, the more precise and focussed the projection will be. LED lighting projectors are becoming more and more popular for use in a variety of applications. Emerging LED technology is now being applied onto a wide range of products, both for functional and decorative lighting purposes. Its durability and stability (incl. shockproofness) makes it an attractive lighting design option.

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Light-at-Play – Painting Pavement with a Color Globe.


Projector Types and Use

The most common type of projector we are all aware of is the ‘video projector’: A digital replacement for the earlier types of projectors such as overhead- or slide projectors. These earlier types of projectors were mostly replaced with digital video projectors throughout the 1990s and early 2000s (decade), but old analog projectors are still used at some places, for example at my grandparents’ home.

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Light-at-Play – Colored Spheres Array


LED Lighting Projectors are on the Rise

The latest generations of projectors are handheld projectors that use lasers or LEDs to project images, such as the device I used. A disadvantage is that its projections are hard to see if there is too much ambient light, so I limited this trial & error session to a fully dark garden environment only.

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Light-at-Play – Olive Tree and Rising Color Globe.

This blog is just another proof of evidence how light can enrich your ambiance in a functional or decorative way and turn unintresting or indistinct materials into living surfaces!

Some ‘high lights’ to impress

Last time I wrote I promised to come back to you with further Printoptical Technology examples for the Graphic Industry. Here are some.

Luximpress - impressions of Printoptical Technology for graphimedia

Transparent 3D relief print – Integrated Optical Magnifier – 3D stained glass replica

Printoptical Technology adds value to graphic products and provide designers with new graphic design opportunities. Personally, I am convinced that it will be one of the crucial ‘tools’ that will help the industry to mutate from a commodity industry into an added value industry in the near future. This is a real “must-have” for trendsetting interior designers, 3D printing enthusiasts, lighting designers, digital 3D artists.

Bringing those innovative printing solutions to market, Luximpress will contribute significantly to the future of the printing industry and service to facilitate customer differentiation and development. The shift to a new technology is not anymore determined by volumes and capacity expansion, but more and more by flexibility and differentiation. This is where it shines out! Moreover, the coming of this brand new technology will enforce the printing industry position in an evolving value chain, which includes this kind of ‘new media’ in particular.

The possibilities are various, the designers’ creativity is the only limitation…!