Mischer'Traxler creates light mobile for London Design Biennale

Mischer'Traxler creates light mobile that dims when unbalanced for London Design Biennale

London Design Biennale 2016: Viennese design duo Mischer'Traxler has created a mobile-like light installation for the Austrian contribution to London's first design biennale (+ slideshow).

Katharina Mischer and Thomas Traxler designed the piece named LeveL in response to the Biennale theme Utopia by Design.

LeveL by mischer'traxler at the London Design Biennale 2016

Pendent-shaped lights are attached to a network of branches that unbalance when visitors brush past and cause the light to dim.

The interactive installation fills a room at Somerset House – the venue for the first London Design Biennale.

LeveL by mischer'traxler at the London Design Biennale 2016

"For us utopia is a very interconnected system that has to be perfectly balanced and every single element has to be in connection with each other," Thomas Traxler told Dezeen at a preview of the installation.

"We think that utopia is super fragile because as soon as it exists it's actually quite still and not moving anymore because its very closed for external influences or for individualism within the system," he added.

LeveL by mischer'traxler at the London Design Biennale 2016

The lights reach maximum luminosity when each of the branches is in perfect equilibrium, and their dimmest when the branches are unsettled. The piece follows on from the pair's earlier Equilumen lamp design.

The action is intended to represent the delicate balance of utopia, where each small element has a huge impact on the overall system.

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Photograph by Simon Scherer

"We decided to make this big light mobile where when everything is perfectly balanced and very still it has the highest illumination, but as soon as people walk by touch or tilt it then the light starts to dim," said Traxler.

"On the one hand it crumples a little bit, but on the other hand it becomes more vivid and more alive."

LeveL by mischer'traxler at the London Design Biennale 2016

Mischer'Traxler specialise in interactive and sensory installations and have previously created a light installation at London's V&A museum in which 264 glass bulbs were filled with a handmade model of an insect.

The installation will be open until 27 September as part of the inaugural London Design Biennale.

LeveL by mischer'traxler at the London Design Biennale 2016

The event features works by architects and designers from 37 countries, which have each been asked to create work in response to the theme Utopia by Design.

LeveL by mischer'traxler at the London Design Biennale 2016
Photograph by Simon Scherer

Other installations at the Biennale include a giant weathervane by UK design duo Barber and Osgerby, and a pneumatic messaging system designed by Turkish studio Autoban.

Photography is by Ed Reeve unless otherwise stated.


Project credits:

Designer: Mischer'Traxler Studio
Curator: Thomas Geisler
Organiser: Austria Design Net
Commissioner: Austria Design Net
Curator: Thomas Geisler/MAK Vienna
Electrotechnical development: Simon Laburda/DKIA
Supporting bodies: Federal Chancellery of Austria-Arts and Culture, Advantage Austria, Austrian Cultural Forum London