Inside the Swarovski Crystal Palace

By danielle

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It’s hard not to be impressed during Salone.  And it’s even harder to assign accolades to the prototypes and products that are presented throughout Milan this week, because, quite frankly, they are all darn great.  Even our staff at Design-Calendar cannot wait to see which standouts our guest blogger Sherri Donghia selects from the fair and its surrounding hot spots.  I’m pretty sure the Swarovski Crystal Palace, an incubator for cutting edge design, will make her list.  The 2010 edition launched new works by five international designers in a ground-breaking exhibition that takes visitors on an experiential journey. Swarovski Crystal Palace commissioned five international designers to interpret the beauty of Swarovski crystal and incorporate their vision into a piece of design. Tokujin Yoshioka from Tokyo, French-born, Tokyo-based Gwenaël Nicolas, Belgian architect Vincent van Duysen, Dutch architectural lighting designer Rogier van der Heide and Swiss-born, San-Francisco-based designer Yves Béhar each created strikingly different concepts. Take a look at their work and see who was there to celebrate in this inspirational display of sculptural pieces, art objects, and works which had a decidedly architectural quality.

STELLAR by Tokujin Yoshioka, an installation which consists of a 1 metre diameter globe encrusted with 10,000 Swarovski crystals and lit from within by 600 LEDs. An accompanying piece features another globe suspended in a vast tank of water, on which crystals grew naturally.

SPARKS by Gwenaël Nicolas, which consists of two separate designs. The first - large, floating, transparent balloons filled with helium with floating small crystal sculptures lit by a battery powered LED inside. The second - a 10m long string of crystals incorporating LED lighting that was programmed to set off more ‘sparks’ which jumped along the length of the rope.

FROST by Vincent Van Duysen, a highly versatile glowing ‘beam’ encrusted with Swarovski crystals.

DREAM CLOUD by Rogier van der Heide, an interpretation of the crystals’ purest, most intrisic features: how they spark our imagination. The installation relied on the beauty of the crystals and had the magic of the Northern Lights.

AMPLIFY by Yves Béhar, a beautiful, yet surprisingly affordable lighting arrangement which consists of a series of deceptively simple "paper lanterns" shaped like crystals, within which light was refracted from a real crystal, casting its pattern on the surface of the paper.

ARCHIVE ROOM, The final room culminated in some of the best work created for Swarovski Crystal Palace over the last 8 years.

The who’s who of the design world came to have a look.

Nadja Swarovski, Alexander von Vegesack, Alice Rawthorne, Rogier van der Heide

Patricia Urquiola and Nina Yashar

Alice Rawthorne and Stefano Tonchi

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