We started our journey at Crystal Palace by entering a room filled with mist which was dedicated to Tokujin Yoshioka’s design, he created Stellar. Stellar is a spherical installation which has a diameter of one meter and is covered with Swarovski crystals and lit from within by LEDs, while an accompanying piece in the same room featured another globe in a glass tank where crystals grew naturally.
The continuation of the exhibition featured the works of Gwenaël Nicolas who presented Sparks, a free floating transparent balloon which floated as it enclosed small crystal sculptures lit from within by battery powered LED. The LED light originated through the crystal to flicker a series sparks which floated in the air along with the balloon’s movement. As a separate design, Gwenaël Nicolas also constructed a ten meter long crystal rope which integrated LED lighting which was programmed to set off sparks from one end of the rope to the other, as the room glimmered with the iridescent spectrum lighting.
As we wandered in the Crystal Palace through the mist, and the mellow lighting we walked into a room where Rogier van der Heide presented Dream Cloud. His installation presented the fundamental features of the crystals and how they manage to spark our imagination into dreams which do become reality. The installation presented the natural beauty of colored Swarovski Crystals which formed a suspending cloud above a tulip garden. We wandered through the magical landscapes in the palace of fairies and princesses as the clouds, the mist and the moonlight glistened before our eyes.
As we strolled along the mellow lit rooms, we suddenly entered a room which glowed with reflection as it was full of mirrors, immediately the Hall of Mirrors at the Versailles Palace came to mind as we enjoyed the work of Vincent Van Duysen who presented Frost. Van Duysen created “a highly versatile glowing ‘beam’ encrusted with Swarovski crystals.” The surface of each beam was covered in gleaming crystals of various shapes and sizes which were set into a special resin to keep them in place; again, the crystals were lit from within allowing for the Swarovski crystals to portray their status and their elegance.
Our journey through the palace was not over yet, Yves Béhar designed Amplify as he “managed to combine the possibilities of technology with the inherent qualities of Swarovski crystal to create a beautiful yet surprisingly affordable lighting arrangement, which consisted of a series of deceptively simple ‘paper lanterns’ shaped like crystals, within which light was refracted from a real crystal, casting its patterns on the surface of the paper.” Béhar’s design was created from recycled materials with an eye for sustainable and affordable design. He created six different crystal-like shapes of various sizes which could be used as individual pieces or as a whole to create a remarkable lighting effect.
Last but not least, our journey through the palace was almost over as we ended up in a final room on our way out which exhibited some of the “staggeringly inventive” designs which were created by famous designers for the Swarovski Crystal Palace over the past eight years. Ball* by Tom Dixon, Blossom* and Ice Branches* by Tord Boontje, Tulsa* by Michael Anastassiades, Mini Voyage* by Yves Béhar, Glitterbox* Floor lamps by Georg Baldele, Light Sock* by Diller Scofidio + Renfro, Caillou by Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec, Cupola by Piero Lissoni, Lolita by Ron Arad, Black + Lite by Amanda Levete / Future Systems, Ice furniture by Tord Boontje, Dazzling Dahlia by Ineke Hans, Rock Crystal by Hariri and Hariri.
Hopefully, throughout our fairy tale journey in Swarovski Crystal Palace we met no dragons!