Vitra Design Museum: Exposition Lightopia

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Article from the 2013-09-26

As hardly another medium, electric light revolutionized our environment in the last century. It changed our cities, created new life and working forms and it became the motor of progress.

The Vitra Design Museum therefore presents the exposition Lightopia from the 28th of September 2013 until the 16th of March 2014: Here light design will be presented from the past until the future visions.

The change of light

Started by new light technologies, there is a deep change in the world of artificial light today. The Vitra Design Museum honours that development with the “Lightopia” exposition. It is the first exposition that presents light design this all-including – with examples of arts, design, architecture and many more disciplines.

Lightopia includes about 300 works, among numerous icons of the still not published light collections of the Vitra Design Museum, such as those by Wilhelm Wagenfeld, Achille Castiglioni, Gino Sarfatti and Ingo Maurer. Other exponents present the performativity strength of light, such as the famous “light-room-modulator” by László Moholy-Nagy or the spectacular reconstruction of a discotheque of 1968, which is completely made of translucent Plexiglas.

Today’s designers are focussed

However, designs by today’s designers and artists, such as Olafur Eliasson, Troika, Chris Fraser, Front Design, Daan Roosegaarde, Joris Laarman, realities:united und mischer’traxler are focussed. They concentrate on new light design possibilities. Among the exponents are numerous interactive installations to be seen closely by visitors and for them to experience the strength of light on their own.

The focus on the history of light design thereby doesn’t only improve the concentration on today’s changes. Since in the past 100 years the world concentrated on new plastic materials, coloured light or halogen lamps for new designs, today it is important to digitalize or to use the OLED-Technologie. In the last years, they made it possible for light to get freed of classic lmaps, that it can be included in textiles or facades and that it gets a completely new meaning as room-making strength.

The questions of the future

Keeping in mind these changes, the exposition also concentrates on the questions that are focussed today: How are designers, artists and architects able to use light the way that it saves our resources? How can the problem of light pollution be handed? The exposition Lightopia shows how light design embossed modern life rooms with its interdisciplinary approach, it researches contemporary paradigm changes and it connects them in a bigger culture-historical focus.

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