RP: Soft-lab’s crystalline installation for Melissa , New York

In the heart of one of busy shopping district  in New York, Soho are bee-comb like contractions , built out of glass. These  art installation was commissioned by the design outfit Softlab  . The crystalline structures were installed in Melissa shoes’  NYC store to go with it’s  Winter  collection  Shoes.
 “ Crystals are both highly refined structures and yet primitive. They can be found everywhere, but are anything but ordinary. Much like the shoes in Melissa’s Sky Walker collection, the ordered asymmetry of crystalline structures always inspires beauty. Inspired by both the shoes and crystals, we have produced an immersive installation that looks different from every angle” softlab says.

The installation include one in the lobby and another in the display gallery, where the complement the different matte range of the shoes. Taking advantage of the irregularities in the overall form of the installation to turn Melissa’s NYC store into a kaleidoscope of colors and light.  Cladding the complex aluminium structure with diachronic acrylic, the piece changes colour and reflectivity as visitors move around it.

The dichroic acrylic was used in tandem with this cell like structure to take advantage of the variation in panel angles. The dichroic film causes interference in light depending on the angle of view creating planes in a range of color much like light passing through a crystal.
By lighting the pieces from within the large crystalline structures will cast colored light onto the white store using it as a canvas. The installation acts as both a spectacular form and a giant lantern creating a landscape of color, filling the store with an otherworldly atmosphere.
The structure is lightweight compared to its large volume; using the principles of both crystal growth and soap bubbles the piece appears to have grown in the store. Overall the structure is made of over 50 unique cells and over 400 pieces of custom cut aluminum. Although the pieces are all flat they come together to form a complex three dimensional assembly. All of the parts were labeled and the individual cells were pre-assembled off site and then combined in the store.


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