Enter the Dragon
Our interest was in combining materials and forms that challenge and play with sensorial undertones of luxury, coarseness and commercialism embedded within them. As this fixture functions as both luminary and art object, it was also important that it be energy-efficient and long-lasting. Neon proved to be an ideal medium through which we circumscribed the aforementioned contrasts between high and low while providing the primary luminary for the fixture.
UNIQUE PROPERTIES / PROJECT DESCRIPTION:
Enter the dragon consists of a black marble tetrahedral shape wrapped in warm white neon. The project operates as a collage of the formal and material tropes, as classic signifiers of wealth and power (the chandelier, the pyramid, and figured marble) are recontextualized, defaced, and framed by callow squiggles of a pop-commercial material. Its silhouette morphs as one moves around the fixture, its delicate white extensions piercing the space around it.
OPERATION / FLOW / INTERACTION:
To create the equivalent of a low-light and high-light setting for this fixture, we provided the fixture with 2 different circuits which light different portions of the fixture. These were all wired within the body of the marble shape in which all the transformers required for the fixture are housed.
PROJECT DURATION AND LOCATION:
The project was developed from 2014-2015 and finished by the end of 2015. Two of these fixtures currently hang in National Sawdust, a new chamber music hall in Williamsburg, Brooklyn that opened to critical acclaim last October.
FITS BEST INTO CATEGORY:
Lighting Products and Lighting Projects Design
PRODUCTION / REALIZATION TECHNOLOGY:
The chandelier is fabricated with a mixture of marble, neon, glass and steel.
SPECIFICATIONS / TECHNICAL PROPERTIES:
Dimensions: 15.83" x 12.18" x 49.20"
8mm cold cathode (neon) tubes, 3500 Kelvin white.
Aproximate light output 800 lumens a meter, (4 Meters of tube) aprox 3200 lumens/
Power consumption: 150 watts.
chandelier, neon, marble, bureauv, lighting, design
We explored different types of lighting possible with a special emphasis on energy-efficient fixtures including fluorescent, LED and neon. We simultaneously designed the fixture and came upon the idea to treat the luminaire less as an arrangement of lamps, but as a line that wraps around a core, a suspended scribble that is structured yet flowing. The challenge was in achieving the complex shape of our design with 360 degree illumination. Neon was best suited for this purpose given its ability to retain a rigid continuous form and complex bent shapes with minimal mechanical supports.
The biggest challenge we had to face as designers was in the dismantling of a complex three dimensional neon shape into components that the neon technicians could psychically produce within budget. The three dimensional design was reduced to two dimensional components using software that allowed us to projection map close approximations of the 3d shapes into 2d shapes which we then laid out as a template for the fabricator to reproduce in their neon bending. This worked out great because we simultaneously solved the problem of creating the 3d bends while breaking up the shape to allow for returns to the transformers at appropriate intervals.
Neon is a medium that has a beautiful range of visual effects depending on the gas that is used. We went through several iterations in which we tested light output against a range of environments. We worked with a locally based fabricator specialized in neon, and their participation was instrumental in our ability to calibrate our design to create a fixture that captures our original design while creating a reproducible object.
TEAM MEMBERS (1) :
Bureau V, 2015.