image002Award-winning architect Greg Lynn, renowned for his innovative designs involving computer technology creating biomorphic structures, will be creating an ambitious and highly atmospheric installation for Swarovski Crystal Palace at this year’s Design Miami, which runs from 1 – 5 December 2009 in Miami’s Design District.
Located at the entrance to the Designers’ Lounge, the structure will take the form of space extending over 80 square metres and reaching over 7 metres in height, where the ‘walls’ and ‘ceiling’ are made of Swarovski crystal-encrusted suspended panels “sails” whose moulded, curved and billowing shapes overlap and intersect. The installation uses cutting edge technology from the sailing and ship-building/nautical industry in which carbon and aramid fibres are compressed between transparent sheets of Mylar to make astonishingly strong, lightweight and transparent sails that are less than 1mm thick. “The sails are made to cope with massive loads from the wind,” Lynn comments. “It’s like hanging 3 SUVs off a paper thin sheet.” Lynn has taken this technology to create his sculptural composition, incorporating thousands of Swarovski crystals.
“When Swarovski asked me if I had any ideas about how to integrate crystals into large scale elements I recalled my first visit to the Salone del Mobile in Milan in 2002,” Lynn recalls. “I only had a few hours in the city and the first thing I saw was a light designed by Tord Boontje for Swarovski Crystal Palace. I was knocked out by the way that wire was used to hold the crystals not in hanging ropes but in branches suspended in space. Any time a classical typology is re-imagined I get excited. So when Swarovski contacted me, I immediately thought of the translucent laminate sails as a way of getting the crystals suspended in the air – not as an object but as a sheet or surface through which light could pass and be reflected. Like the chandeliers the array would be diaphanous but with their curved surfaces these ‘fabrics’ could also define spaces and make enclosures in the form of suspended ceilings, room partitions or even walls.”
The panels in Lynn’s installation will feature three different coloured fibres; black carbon fibre and aramid both in its ‘natural’ gold and in a crimson-died version. These fibres will be woven and incorporated in different ways, blending to create richly nuanced colours. Set amongst these fibres will be thousands of tiny clear and coloured crystals, with hues including aquamarine, pink, red, peach and blue, which will contribute to reflection, highlights and also surface washes of colour.
More than 1,500,000 crystals and more than 117,000 meters of carbon and aramid fibers have been used to create the panels for this installation, which were assembled by computer-guided robots on dynamically formed molds at the North Sails 3DL factory. The panels vary in size, with some as long as 14 m and as wide as 8m. The material is so thin that even panels with a surface area of over 50 square meters can easily be folded and packed into the trunk of a passenger car. The entire installation, including the weight of the crystals, weighs less than 350 kg.
For press information, including interview requests and images, please contact:
Amy Dollamore   |   +44 (0) 20 7420 1700
Patrick Seiler   |   +44 (0) 207 255 8440
For sales information on Swarovski Crystal Palace, its designers and enquiries:
Eve-Marie Ayer    |   +44 (0) 207 255 8460
About Greg Lynn
Greg Lynn has been at the cutting edge of design in both architecture and design culture in general when it comes to the use of the computer. He has been named one of the 100 most innovative people in the world by Time Magazine while Forbes Magazine named him one of the ten most influential living architects.  He has received numerous awards including the Venice Biennale of Architecture’s Golden Lion, the American Academy of Arts & Letters Architecture Award and awards from the AIA and Progressive Architecture. The NYC Landmarks Commission listed his Korean Presbyterian Church of New York as one of the thirty most important buildings erected in the city in the last 30 years, while the National Building Museum in Washington named it one of four civic buildings that “shaped the public realm” in America.
In addition to his architectural work, he has numerous industrial design objects in production.  Both his Alessi “Supple” Mocha Cups and his Vitra “Ravioli” Chair have been inducted into the Museum of Modern Art’s Permanent Collection.
His architectural designs have been exhibited in both architecture and art museums and his work is in the permanent collections of the most important design and architecture museums in the world including the CCA, SFMoMA, ICA Chicago and MoMA.
Greg Lynn has taught throughout the United States and Europe.  With his degrees in philosophy and architecture he has been involved in combining the realities of design and construction with the theoretical and experimental potentials of writing and teaching. He is currently an Ordentlicher University Professor at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna as well as the Davenport Visiting Professor at Yale University. 
He is the author of seven books and monographs including Animate Form which is considered the seminal book on the use of digital technology in architecture.
Greg Lynn was born in 1964 in Ohio.  He graduated from Miami University of Ohio with degrees in both architecture and philosophy and later from Princeton University where he received a graduate degree in architecture.  He also has an Honorary Doctorate degree from the Academy of Fine Arts & Design in Bratislava.
About Swarovski Crystal Palace:
Swarovski Crystal Palace is a revolutionary project that has aimed to create signature interpretations of light and design using the emotive medium of cut crystal. Whilst celebrating and reinterpreting the rich traditions of the chandelier, Swarovski Crystal Palace has broken barriers, played with the rules and opened a new chapter in the history of lighting, art and design. Now in its eighth year, Swarovski Crystal Palace has worked with some of the world’s foremost and collectable designers including Zaha Hadid, Yvés Behar, Studio Job, Ross Lovegrove, Tom Dixon, Ron Arad, Tokujin Yoshioka and Fernando and Humberto Campana.
About Swarovski:
In 1895, Daniel Swarovski I, a Bohemian inventor and visionary, moved to the village of Wattens, Tyrol in Austria, with his newly-invented machine for cutting and polishing crystal jewellery stones. From this beginning that revolutionised the fashion world, Swarovski has grown to be the world’s leading producer of precision-cut crystal, for fashion, jewellery and more recently lighting, architecture and interiors. Today, the company, still based in Wattens, family-owned and run by 4th and 5th generation family members, has a global reach, with some 26.000 employees, a presence in over 120 countries and a turnover in 2008 of 2.52 billion Euros. Swarovski comprises two major businesses, one producing and selling loose elements to the industry and the other creating design-driven finished products. Swarovski crystal components, known by their product brand names CRYSTALLIZED™ – Swarovski Elements for fashion and STRASS® Swarovski® Crystal for architecture and light, have become an essential ingredient of international design. Since 1965 the company has also catered to the fine jewellery industry with precision-cut genuine and created gemstones, and from April 2008 has strengthened this relationship by revitalising and renaming the product brand ENLIGHTENEDTM – Swarovski Elements. Showing the creativity that lies at the heart of the company, Swarovski’s own-brand lines of accessories, jewellery and home décor are sold through more than 1,600 retail outlets in all major fashion capitals. The exclusive Daniel Swarovski accessories collection has meanwhile become the company’s couture signature. The Swarovski Crystal Society has close to 350,000 members worldwide, keen collectors of the celebrated crystal figurines. And in Wattens, Swarovski Kristallwelten, the multi-media crystal museum, was opened in 1995, as a celebration of Swarovski’s universe of innovation and inspiration. The Swarovski corporation also includes Tyrolit®, manufacturing grinding tools, Swareflex, for road safety reflectors and Swarovski Optik, producing precision optical instruments.
Amy Dollamore
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