Geometry of Light
The Fundació Mies van der Rohe and MAS Context have organized Geometry of Light, an art intervention by Luftwerk in collaboration with Iker Gil that is taking place at the Barcelona Pavilion, February 10-17, 2019 as part of the Fundació Mies van der Rohe’s ongoing program of artistic interventions.
Geometry of Light is an immersive intervention at the Barcelona Pavilion envisioned as a contemporary lens for this important masterpiece, highlighting and expanding upon the architectural and material features of this structure. Using the 1929 Pavilion, designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Lilly Reich, as the foundation of the work, Geometry of Light creates a new interpretive layer extending from the primary elements of the architecture, including the gridded plan, vertical planes, and materiality.
This intervention of light and sound enlivens and alters our perception of the essential elements of the pavilion. By emphasizing the open floor plan and material selections, Geometry of Light heightens the illusion of physical and material boundaries. Focused on the gridded plan of the pavilion, a grid of light animates the architecture to accentuate the flowing space as it permeates through the interior and exterior. The animated lines of light are choreographed to trace, highlight, and alter the composition of the pavilion.
Following its premiere in Barcelona, Geometry of Light will be installed at the Farnsworth House in October 2019 to coincide with the third edition of the Chicago Architecture Biennial.
Responding to the form and function of the entrance hallway at 21c Kansas City, Luftwerk’s Linear Sky features light fixtures that vary in length, producing an anamorphic optical illusion of an expanding, outward pattern of line and color upon both entering and exiting the ramp. The hues from one direction differ from those in the opposite, acting like a multi-colored mirror of each other and differentiating the experience of moving into or out of the hallway. The LEDs are programmed with a lighting sequence inspired by the changing hues of the outdoor skies above the urban landscape of Kansas City: the palette of bright morning saturates the walls that greet visitors, while the glow of waning daylight colors envelop those en route to the outdoors. Evoking the span from dawn to dusk and back again, Linear Sky juxtaposes day and night, nature and technology, past and present, welcoming visitors into a space of the future. The vertical light fixtures installed on monochromatic walls reference the aesthetics of Minimalism, and create a strong, contemporary contrast to the historic patterning on the floor and the ornate pilasters on the walls. The geometric interplay of the vertical and the horizontal within this narrow, ramp leading to and from the lobby both highlights and transforms the architecture, offering visitors views of a new horizon from either direction.
Inviting viewers to experience a series of transitions, Becoming created an evolving experience of color and exploration. The immersive installation at Design Miami flipped through cycles of change to the reflect an evolution of patterns in nature. Based on Emil Galle’s drawing of the anemone a custom-designed wallpaper animated through washes of light in the RGB spectrum. The interplay of the lights with the cyan, green, and yellow printed wallpaper continuously changed the atmosphere of the room and perception of the layered patterns as they intensified or receded with the shifting lights. An infinity mirror flanked both ends of the room, creating an intriguing and mystifying experience. These visual portals captivated the viewer and beckoned associations to the large network of underground tunnels in the cellars of Perrier-Jouët’s Masion Belle Epoque.
A second iteration of this installation took place on Herzog and De Meuron’s 111 Lincoln Road parking garage. Projected onto the ceiling of this open-air structure, the shifting floral pattern created a canopy atop the urban structure. Contrasting with bold and raw concrete structure, the delicate lines of the patterns boldly lit the architecture balancing the atmosphere.
These installations were commissioned and inspired by Maison Perrier-Jouët.
MAS Context X Luftwerk X Marina City
Luftwerk created this animated display in celebration of architect Bertrand Goldberg’s iconic Marina City. This site-specific installation incorporated the basic elements of the building as it was projected around the central core on the rooftop of Marina City. Goldberg was largely known for his disinterest in creating straight, formal buildings like his predecessor Mies van der Rohe; Luftwerk used this difference as an inspiration in this piece. Half circles and petal shaped imagery interplayed with geometric and curved lines to explore the innate characteristics of Goldberg’s architecture. Located in the center of downtown Chicago, the installation incorporated views the surrounding architecture of the city.
Lyrical Geometry | Ford House
Bruce Goff, a self-taught, unconventional architect was also a little-known composer. His organic architecture is spotted across the United States yet a group of his compositions for a player piano last had a public performance in 1936. This event, billed as an evening of “Music, Light, and Architecture” celebrated his compositions and architecture. Luftwerk presented an immersive installation alongside a performance by Third Coast Percussion of their arrangements the player piano compositions within the Goff-designed Ford House in Aurora Illinois.
Luftwerk’s design incorporated the music, nature, and architecture in a projection on the circular ceiling of the round house. The projected canopy above the guests animated their visual interpretation including dots from the original player piano rolls, imagery of nature, and a linear abstraction of the slats on the ceiling. Their interpretation accentuated and enlivened the physical and conceptual ideas of Goff as it interacted with the distinct home.
Projecting Modern | Robie House
Deemed as the first modern home, the Robie House by Frank Lloyd Wright is an important architectural masterpiece. The modern home was a masterpiece of the Prairie style and charted new paths for modern architecture. This piece marks, Luftwerk’s first collaboration with architecture. For Projecting Modern, they developed a site-specific installation by reflecting and the linear and spatial qualities of the home to extract ideals of modernism embedded within the design of the Robie House. This interior installation included four projected videos in which the duo added their own interpretive layer onto this iconic structure.
Download: Exhibition Brochure
Fallingwater: Art in Nature
In celebration of the 75th anniversary of Fallingwater, Luftwerk created this large-scale video and sound installation. This highly regarded house is one of Frank Lloyd Wright’s greatest works. The structural dynamism and relationship with the natural surroundings defines this masterpiece. Illuminating the structure of the architecture with a vibrant visual composition, Luftwerk developed a design inspired by Wright’s principles of organic architecture. Images of the waterfall and surrounding flora along with motion graphics and manipulated imagery created a dialogue between the natural and manmade. Illuminating the house highlighted the home, literally and metaphorically; the glowing forms honored the architectural composition in a celebration for today.
Modern Ball | Griffin Court AIC
This celebratory piece was designed for the Architecture & Design Society’s 2014 Modern Ball at the Art Institute of Chicago. As the auxiliary support group of the Architecture and Design department at the Art Institute, the bi-annual Modern Ball is the primary fundraiser to support and celebrate the work of the department. The A&D Society commissioned Luftwerk to create an immersive installation as the backdrop for the evening.
Located in the expansive entrance of the Renzo Piano-designed Modern Wing at the Art Institute of Chicago, Luftwerk used the architecture of the space as a primary inspiration. From the geometry and regular lines within the space, Luftwerk drew correlations to moiré patterns which inspired the work. This temporal piece enlivened the space to choreograph the activities and mood of the evening. In the beginning, sophisticated patterns of black and white lines traced and animated the tall, rectangular panels of the museum’s wall and set the mood for this formal, black-tie event. The design progressed throughout the evening, ending the night with vibrant colored patterns that played alongside the band as a backdrop for dancing.
Additional Luftwerk designed events at Griffin Court, AIC:
World Business Chicago
SAIC 150th Anniversary Gala
INsite | Farnsworth House
Mies van der Rohe’s historic Farnworth house embodies the architectural ideals of this notable architect. The expansive floor-to-ceiling windows that span the I-beam structure of the home frame expansive views of the nature outside this modern home. Developed as a prototype for his vision of modern architecture in the era of technology, new ideals of living are evident inside the one-room weekend home through the configuration, furnishings, and fixtures.
For Luftwerk, the house held many opportunities to explore and expand on the space and light within this structure. INsite also looked at the relationship of the architecture with the surrounding nature; connecting the two with imagery and light. Through video-mapping the structure itself, Luftwerk projected dynamic animations onto and within the house that evolved over the evening. Reflecting the geometry of the architecture and the natural form of nature, the lit designs turned the house into a lantern, which enhanced the floating nature of the house in a new, contemporary interpretation of this modern masterpiece.