Caustic Rays

WHAT: Light Art Installation
WHERE: Swarovski Kristallwelten Store, Vienna
WHEN: May 2017
CLIENT: Swarovski

After working with Swarovski in 2013 on a Futuring Workshop to explore design ideas around sustainable innovation we were invited to develop, fabricate and install a permanent light artwork in the Swarovski Kristallwelten Store Vienna with the most minimal of materials and intervention.

The bespoke light artwork was integrated into the ceiling of the Kristallwelten and was comprised of a network of curved and reflective optical filters combined with animated LEDs. This created a visual effect reminiscent of the reflections in moving water. As we specialise in creating physical and material installations inspired by a scientific practice, we studied the field of optics and caustic networks.

Caustics are the light rays reflected and refracted by a curved object. They are projected each time a crystal interacts with light. Caustics are the ephemeral quality of crystals we all love but that is difficult to capture as it keeps moving and changing. We created a piece inspired by the more ephemeral qualities of the crystal. The unique effect creates patches of light with bright edges, that dance across the surface of the ceiling the Swarovski Kristallwelten Store Vienna. More information here


Project Team

  • Rachel Wingfield, Concept & Art Direction
  • Mathias Gmachl, Concept & Technical Direction
  • James Fox, Industrial Designer