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29 May 2010

Swarovski Crystal Palace // Milan 2010

SPARKS by Gwenaël Nicolas // Image Courtesy of Swarovski
Swarovski Crystal Palace // Milan 2010
text by Marcia Argyriades for Yatzer 

I remember myself when I was a young kid, I would stand before a Swarovski collection and gaze at it, as the spectrum colors and reflections travelled me to magical worlds where fairies and princesses existed!   For years I had lost that feeling, and suddenly during Milan Design Week 2010 when the Yatzer team visited Swarovski Crystal Palace at Zona Tortona the feeling came back!  The installations travelled me back to those years of when I was a kid, leaving me speechless for once more as the crystals demonstrated their creative potential right before our eyes.  Swarovski  presented yet another “exhilarating and inspiring series” of commissions, as the artists unveiled their creativity to present magnificent works.  This year Swarovski Crystal Palace commissioned five renowned designers to construe their own reality of the beauty of Swarovski crystals.  Tokujin Yoshioka, Gwenaël Nicolas, Vincent van Duysen, Rogier van der Heide and Yves Béhar integrated their own reality of how they envision their design to only create remarkable design pieces.  Not only were the pieces one of a kind, but the setting created just the right atmosphere for such works of art to be exhibited. 

The exhibition presented works which were inspired by the “idea of different types of palaces, from Versailles with its hall of mirrors, to Japan with its Zen aesthetic, to the Winter Palace in St Petersburg.”  Each design was exhibited in its own room thus allowing for the highest creative expression and setting the ideal atmosphere to clearly portray which palace it was inspired from.  The curating of the design pieces was such that it set up a theatrical atmosphere and engaged the visitors in travelling in a journey through time from palace to palace!   
STELLAR by Tokujin Yoshioka
We started our journey at Crystal Palace by entering a room filled with mist which was dedicated to Tokujin Yoshioka’s design, he created StellarStellar is a spherical installation which has a diameter of one meter and is covered with Swarovski crystals and lit from within by LEDs, while an accompanying piece in the same room featured another globe in a glass tank where crystals grew naturally. 
The continuation of the exhibition featured the works of Gwenaël Nicolas who presented Sparks, a free floating transparent balloon which floated as it enclosed small crystal sculptures lit from within by battery powered LED.  The LED light originated through the crystal to flicker a series sparks which floated in the air along with the balloon’s movement.  As a separate design, Gwenaël Nicolas also constructed a ten meter long crystal rope which integrated LED lighting which was programmed to set off sparks from one end of the rope to the other, as the room glimmered with the iridescent spectrum lighting.  
SPARKS by Gwenaël Nicolas // Image Courtesy of Swarovski

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