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Light in motion

Light in motion

A handcrafted approach to decorative lighting design starts with the study of its materials (glass, steel, wood...) and the elements (base, shade, cable...) that give them shape. From the refining of materials and technologies over the course of time, together with the evolution of aesthetic and functional standards, stems the design of the vast majority of the lighting pieces that surround us.

Most of them have two characteristics in common: they are essentially static, and their material has a defined shape, which might - to some extent - change depending on either of the possible states, with or without light. With the term "static" we are not only referring to floor, wall or pendant lamps, but also to the adjustable, reclining or flexible ones, whose movement has the only purpose of adapting their shape.

Also, it is understood that even though the presence of light can modify the structural limits of the material, the shape of the piece will not be perceived as essentially different.

Some of the works of modern plastic artists originate from these assumption, or are in dialogue with them. From the first works developed in the Bauhaus, until the recent installations by Olafur Eliasson, a long series of artists expanded their possibilities with the inclusion of an additional concept: movement.

It is in this context than the different pieces of the Thixotrope series can be placed. They were designed by Troika, a team founded in 2003 by three young artists, Eva Rucki, Conny Freyer and Sebastien Noel, located in London.

Thixotrope's rotating light

The Thixotrope pieces have a simple and axial geometry structure, based on lines. Light is provided by LED strips, which are fixed along the outlines of their streamlined frame. An electrical engine is placed inside the axis, making the piece rotate.

The result is an installation that, when switched off, shows a slender structure, with hardly any presence. Once it is switched on however, its rotation generates a luminous shape with distinct volume and solidity, completely different from its previous state.

By applying this concept to pieces of different sizes, many variables can be created, which can be adapted to different spaces and scales.

Not only does this approach offer an interesting combination of movement and light, but it also provides an alternative use of LED strips, such that their shape will not affect the one of the lamp. Time will tell if this new concept can be effectively applied to decorative lighting, in the meantime we can enjoy its ludic and hypnotizing side.


'Thixotropes', Troika, 2011 from Troika on Vimeo.

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