"We use software programming controls
as well as physical design" - Troika


Troika founding partner Eva Rucki explains the studio's large-scale immersive light installations in this movie filmed by Dezeen at our Designed in Hackney Day.

Troika at Designed in Hackney Day

Above: one of Troika's Trixotrope pieces when spinning and illuminated

Rucki, Conny Freyer and Sebastien Noel founded Troika in 2003 after graduating from the Royal College of Art and have set up a flexible workshop space under a large railway arch in Hackney, east London.

Troika at Designed in Hackney Day

Above: Trixotrope frame when still

The first of the studio's installations she describes is Thixotropes, a series of rotating frames covered in LED strips. The light pieces hung in the atrium of London department store Selfridges for three months last year. "One of the most magic points for me in this installation is when the structure starts spinning and hits a point where it spins so fast that it becomes a solid volume," says Rucki.

Troika at Designed in Hackney Day

Above: detail of the LED strips used on the Trixotrope pieces

Four different designs were suspended in two columns and alternated on and off so shoppers on all five floors of the store could experience the way the pieces looked at different speeds from various vantage points.

Troika at Designed in Hackney Day

Above: Trixotrope piece when spinning and illuminated

Rucki then describes Troika's Light Rain project, first created for Thomas Heatherwick's UK Pavilion at the 2010 Shanghai Expo then refined for crystal company Swarovski and displayed at the V&A museum as part of an exhibition of British design. "The way this device works is that you have a lens, a light and when the light comes closer to the lens and further apart and it has an animation written into the mechanism, which is a raindrop," she says.

Troika at Designed in Hackney Day

Above: Trixotrope pieces spinning and illuminated while hung in the atrium of Selfridges

"It contrasts technology, which is perceived as something often artificial and man made, with something like an innate memory of nature you has as a kid watching raindrops on the ground," she says.

Troika at Designed in Hackney Day

Above: The Weather Yesterday installation in Hoxton Square

Troika's commission for Hoxton Square in east London was a light installation linked to yesterday's weather forecast. "The slightly retro look wasn't really a stylistic choice, but it's based on the components the sign is built with: LED strips in modules of five," Rucki says.

Troika at Designed in Hackney Day

Above: LED strips used for The Weather Yesterday installation

"Quite a lot of our work uses software programming controls as well as typical physical design," she summarises at the end of the talk.

Troika at Designed in Hackney Day

Above: The Weather Yesterday assembled in Troika's studio

Dezeen's Designed in Hackney initiative was launched to highlight the best architecture and design made in the borough, which was one of the five host boroughs for the London 2012 Olympic Games as well as being home to Dezeen’s offices.

Troika at Designed in Hackney Day

Above: the back of The Weather Yesterday showing the wires and circuitry

Watch more movies from our Designed in Hackney Day or see more stories about design and architecture from HackneySee all our stories about design by Troika »

  • I really love the lamp that was displayed in Selfridges. I had no idea when I first moved to England that Selfridges had so many installations all the time. I recently wrote about the No Noise campaign that is going on right now. It’s also a really good installation.

  • Emma

    I love the Trixotrope… congratulations on succeeding. Here at Tom Heatherwick’s studio we tried to build one a few years ago, even got Swarvoski in to the studio to look at it. Ours was only on the computer screen, and we couldn’t work out how to fabricate it. Swarovski lost interest. Well done on producing a working product. It does what others only dream of.

    • Nincompoop

      Interesting. What other confidential projects are you currently working on at Heatherwick studio?

      • Emma

        I can’t discuss any current projects, but since that one was shelved and it was good to see that Trokia had succeeded, I thought I would mention it.

  • Filipe

    Totally kick ass.