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Glowing Crystals Create Interactive Flickering Light Fields

A Dutch design studio has created thousands of flickering crystal tokens that can be rearranged endlessly and prompt participants to think about light...

Kristen Nozell
Kristen Nozell on October 24, 2013. @kristen_n

CRYSTAL is an interactive light installation by Dutch design firm Studio Roosegaarde that has found a permanent home in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, after touring in Amsterdam, Paris and Moscow over the past year. The launch of the permanent exhibit on October 18th coincided with the start of Dutch Design Week 2013.

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Thousands of plastic tokens resembling crystals are placed on a floor mat with a weak magnetic field, which powers two LED lights housed in the crystals. Visitors are encouraged to rearrange the stones to formulate patterns and messages, and even to steal them. Described by Daan Roosegaarde, the namesake of Studio Roosegaarde, as ‘Lego from Mars’, the installation certainly has an otherworldly quality, and appears every bit as tempting to play with as legos. Studio Roosegaarde will be adding more crystals each month, in varying colors and shapes, and will also publish the design plans so anyone can create pieces to add to the open-sourced light collection.

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CRYSTAL is located in a dark tunnel in the recently refurbished Natlab building, the site where the first Philips lightbulb was produced and where Einstein spent time. The installation is part of the Light-S project, a project by the city of Eindoven and Park Strijp Beheer, an urban development project within the city, to explore how light influences people, space and technology and can create new experiences between them.

CRYSTAL

Thinking...