Dezeen Magazine

UFO by Ross Lovegrove

British designer Ross Lovegrove has installed a silver spaceship in the rafters of a railway station in Lille, France.

UFO by Ross Lovegrove

UFO was commissioned by arts organisation Lille 3000 for Fantastic 2012, a festival of futuristic concepts in design and the arts.

UFO by Ross Lovegrove

In addition to the ring of LEDs around its perimeter, the aluminium spaceship intermittently sends a central shaft of light down to the ground, where it appears to select a passenger to beam up into the craft.

UFO by Ross Lovegrove

"Giving people a chance to see at first hand an alien craft, designed albeit by a human being and in decidedly Earth-based terrestrial materials, will be an instant shock," explains Lovegrove, "showing us how primitive, oily and unimaginative we are."

UFO by Ross Lovegrove

This isn't the first UFO we've featured on Dezeen – we also reported on a ball of light over Gdansk in Poland created by artist Peter Coffin and lighting designers Cinimod Studio.

UFO by Ross Lovegrove

See all our stories about Ross Lovegrove »
See all our stories about installations »

Photographs are by Simona Cupoli.

Here's a statement from Lovegrove:

For Fantastic 2012, the most advanced presentation of futuristic concept in design, art, cuisine, literature, dance, clubbing and much more, Lille3000 has commissioned a brand new work by British designer Ross Lovegrove to be experienced at the Lille Flandre Station, directly on the tracks, opening on October 5th.

Ross Lovegrove, at ease with questions and dilemmas about our own future – he was for example the host of CNN Just Imagine documentary presenting a vision of the world 2020 – has challenged himself to create an innovative, and yet modernistic archetypical, means of transport. The visitors and travellers gathering at the Lille Flandre Station will find on the trails a shocking surprise: a UFO has just landed on the sidewalk and it is able to transport human beings from Lille to Paris in as little as 30 seconds.

This unexpected machine, shaped like an organic dish, is conceived with terrestrial materials and yet delivers an unprecedented imaginary form. Ross Lovegrove’s UFO was born through a speculation on our own identity. This pure and pristine object destroys the boundaries between art and design, technology and science, spirituality and physics, nature and religion. Ross Lovegrove has realised this new vehicle following his instinct: the inhabitants of our planet do not have any clear idea on how these objects are realised, or if they even exist.

Lovegrove explains his inspiration for this recently landed U(nidentified) F(lying) O(bject): "Blurry photos and obscure film footage is all we have, along with interviews from Area 51 scientists assigned to analyse propulsion systems and materials previously unknown to man. Can all these people who talk so matter of fact all be part of some broader conspiracy to act it all out? The mystery remains as a discourse between imagination and reality, people divided and derided on a subject that could be so profound and life changing for the whole of humanity if one day there will be a clear visitation to experience in the clear light of day the wonders that we are being slowly primed for.”

To visit to the Lille Flandre Station can explain some about these universal mysteries through the visions of one of the most innovative designers or our time.