Dezeen Magazine

Crystal wireless LED installation by Studio Roosegaarde

Dutch Design Week 2013: designer Daan Roosegaarde has unveiled a "Lego from Mars" installation consisting of hundreds of wireless LED crystals that light up when placed on the floor (+ movie).

Crystal by Studio Roosegaarde

Crystal, a permanent installation that has opened in Eindhoven during Dutch Design Week, allows visitors to arrange the glowing crystals in patterns - and even steal them.

Crystal by Studio Roosegaarde

"We made thousands of little crystals which have two LEDs in them," Roosegaarde told Dezeen. "When they're placed in the area that you see here, they light up. It's a sort of Lego from Mars. You can play, you can interact, you can steal them."

Crystal by Studio Roosegaarde

There's no battery, no cables," he added. "The floor has a weak magnetic field, which gives light to the Crystals by wireless power."

Crystal by Studio Roosegaarde

The installation is located in a void created at the newly refurbished Natlab, a building that once contained the Philips Natuurkundig Laboratorium (Philips Physics Laboratory) and which played a key role in the development of products including the electric lightbulb and the compact disc.

Crystal by Studio Roosegaarde

"This location is quite special. Philips produced the lightbulb here; Einstein worked here on a lot of ideas," said Roosegaarde. "So the city commissioned us to think about the future of light, where light gets liberated. It jumps out of the lightbulb and becomes free."

Crystal by Studio Roosegaarde

LEDs are housed inside plastic tokens which visitors can tesselate to form patterns or words. Roosegaarde plans to publish the designs so that people can produce their own open-source versions in future.

Crystal by Studio Roosegaarde

"Every month we will make new crystals," said Roosegaarde. "We will open-source how to make them, so students can make their own in different colours and shapes. New crystals will arrive and I will have nothing to do with it. People can do whatever they want. In that way it becomes an eco-system of behaviour. That's going to be super-exciting, to let go of control and see what will happen."

Crystal by Studio Roosegaarde

Visitors to the installation have already used the Crystals to write messages, including a marriage proposal. "We had one lady whose boyfriend proposed to her last night. He wrote 'Marry me' and he brought her here."

Daan Roosegaarde of Studio Roosegaarde
Daan Roosegaarde of Studio Roosegaarde

Today Roosegaarde also unveiled a concept for an "electronic vacuum cleaner" that could remove smog from urban skies.

Here's some text from Studio Roosegaarde:

Innovative Crystals of light in Eindhoven

Daan Roosegaarde: “People can play and share their stories of light”

At the start of the Dutch Design Week on Saturday 19 October the interactive light artwork CRYSTAL can be experienced in Eindhoven. The permanent artwork consists out of hundreds of LED-crystals which brighten when people touch them. Artist Daan Roosegaarde calls them “Lego from Mars”. The name refers not only to its futuristic design, but also to its endless potential to play. CRYSTAL has been previously exhibited in Amsterdam, Paris, Moscow and is now permanent in Eindhoven NL.

The Crystals are placed in a black tunnel at the Natlab, the place where Einstein once worked, where Philips produced its lightbulbs, and the first CD-ROM was presented. They are part of the light program Light-S which wants to create new experiences between people and space. CRYSTAL is a perfect match, the Crystals are white geometric shapes with LEDs inside. The local floor has a magnetic field which allows the Crystals to light-up. CRYSTAL is therefore one of the latest innovations in light. The artwork CRYSTAL can be experienced at night at Natlab, Kastanjelaan 500 in Eindhoven NL.

Interactive crystals

CRYSTAL is not only innovatie in terms of appearance, but also the interactive element makes the artwork unique. With Crystals people can share their creativity. For example someone used Crystals for a wedding proposal to his girlfriend by writing the letters ‘Marry me’. Artist Daan Roosegaarde describes this phenomenon as “Facebook Square”, where social media and light are combined to create new public places.

The future with CRYSTAL

Studio Roosegaarde will continue to make new Crystals with the vision that light is enhancing the relation between people and their environment. The coming years the studio will develop Crystals with different shapes and colors together with high-tech companies and cultural organisations. Crystal keeps on growing.

About Daan Roosegaarde

Daan Roosegaarde (Nieuwkoop, 1979) is artist, innovator and ambassador of the Dutch Design Week 2013. With his Studio Roosegaarde he explores the relationship between art and technology to make the world more interesting, better or beautiful. Interactive designs such as ‘Dune’ and ‘Smart Highway’ have been exhibited around the world.

About Light-S

Light-S is an innovative project by the city of Eindhoven and Park Strijp Beheer. Within Light-S several projectteams are researching how light can create new experiences between people, space and technologies.