3D-printed “A Story of Light and Matter” reflects the dynamics of contemporary cities

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Light and Matter

External Reference exhibited a 3D-printed installation named “A Story of Light and Matter,” inspired by urban patterns and light variations in the contemporary city. This installation was displayed during Milan Design Week 2024. It was part of HoperAperta’s sixth edition, “MIMESIS Form and Image,” an exhibition that combines art, architecture, and design.

“A Story of Light and Matter” used the observed data to create artistic light installations that mirror cities’ unique ambiance. According to designers, the process started with a survey of light within cityscapes, capturing fluctuating intensities across various coordinates. The data served as the foundation for a replicable methodology applicable to diverse cities. Barcelona was the focal point, with the data inspiring a physical luminescent installation.

This installation made of 3D-printed metal was created in collaboration between Artisans Loving Robots and Ferran Collado. The sculpture encases a blown glass capsule filled with pulsing light. The installation is designed to reflect the dynamics of contemporary cities by translating empirical data into artistic light installations. Each installation is unique to its place, mirroring the ambiance of the location where it is installed.

The External Reference team explains, “The stainless-steel structure symbolizes the material world, while the illuminated gas within the glass capsule represents the intangible presence of light.”

Project Info

Name: A Story of Light and Matter
Architects: External Reference
Location: Milan
Year: 2024
Dimensions: approximately 40 cm x 80 cm
Project Director: Carmelo Zappulla
Project Managers / Coordinator: Sebastian Amorelli
Design Team / Collaborators: Sebastián Amorelli, Adrian Ionut Patrascu, Aleksandra Kraeva, Pit Siebenaler
3D printing: Artisans Loving Robots
Glass blowing and light: Ferran Collado

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