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Colour & Materials
Published: 22 Jun 2017

Reinventing Crystal: Swarovski at Design Miami/Basel 2017

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Takt Project, Marjan van Aubel and Jimenez Lai

Swarovski’s Designers of the Future Award installation at this year’s Design Miami/Basel (June 13-18 2017) featured the world’s first 3D-printed crystal, pioneering solar-cell technology, and a recycled crystal surface. We take a look at the winning projects.

  • Takt Project, Printed Crystal: Japanese designers Takt Project presented a series of 3D-printed crystal candlestick holders and vases inspired by the formation of frost crystals. The studio collaborated with Tel Aviv-based start-up Micron3DP, which claims to be the first company to produce high-resolution 3D-printed glass. The technique achieved incredibly fine shapes and delicate textures.

  • Marjan van Aubel, Cyanometer: The Dutch designer worked closely with Swarovski’s technical team to produce a series of three “living light objects”, which harness sunlight through a portable solar cell. Named after a device that measures the blueness of the sky, the circular Cyanometer lights combine Swarovski crystals with LEDs to mirror the changeable colours of the sky, bringing the effect of natural light indoors.

  • Jimenez Lai, Terrazzo Palazzo: LA-based architect Jimenez Lai created an innovative terrazzo material made from upcycled Swarovski crystals. It gives new life to imperfect crystals that haven’t passed Swarovski’s strict quality control. The material formed an architectural environment of floor-standing structures to house the entire installation.

Swarovski frequently teams up with emerging designers to explore the potential of crystal – see Milan 2017: Materials. Creatives are currently expressing a fascination with crystalline structures and natural material formations. For more on this and the latest developments in glass and 3D printing, see Filtered Reality and Sci-Bio.

Look out for more coverage of Design Miami/Basel and Art Basel 2017, publishing soon. 

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