03. May 2016

“Social Sparkles” light art installation in Amsterdam/NL


Nature has served us as a source of inspiration for millions of years: in the design of buildings, materials, medicine, the spaces we live and work in. This design approach is commonly known as biomimicry and has aided in the development of almost every aspect of our lives. The “Social Sparkles” light art installation designed for this year’s edition of the Amsterdam Light Festival took the idea of learning from nature to a new level.

“Social Sparkles” was installed in Amsterdam’s oldest botanical garden: Hortus Botanicus, which was founded in 1638 as a herb garden for doctors and apothecaries and is located just outside the city centre. Under a big tree on a little square a cloud of 100 elements waited calmly for someone to approach. As soon as presence was detected, the tiny luminous elements came to life, darting to and fro and swirling around like fireflies. The swarm of lights filled the air above the viewers, inviting them to move too and creating lively interaction between the people, the light and the surroundings.


“Social Sparkles” was reminiscent of an outdoor birthday party. The interactive work was festive indeed. The elements reacted to the people present and – like at a birthday party – it didn’t end there. The luminous elements moved around in such a lively manner that they were soon touching others. The ice had been broken, the first contact made. And man, as a social animal, followed their lead and began to make contact enthusiastically with other visitors.


Lighting design: Toer, Eindhoven/NL



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