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Starchitect And Rocket-Scientist Son Create Lamp That Evokes History Of The Universe

Daniel Libeskind partners with his son Noam, an astrophysicist, to capture the history of light in a 14-second loop of twinkling LEDs.

Starchitect And Rocket-Scientist Son Create Lamp That Evokes History Of The Universe

Famous architects design furniture all the time. Less common? Famous architects who design furniture with their rocket-scientist kid.

That’s what Daniel Libeskind, the starchitect behind the lovely Military History Museum in Dresden and the (less lovely) Denver Art Museum, has done with his son Noam, an astrophysicist at the Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics Potsdam in Germany. Commissioned by the high-end lighting company Zumtobel, the father-son pair concocted a slender, faceted chandelier that “mimics and reproduces the cosmic light that fills the Universe.”

The chandelier is called eL Masterpiece, and to make it, Noam Libeskind developed an algorithm that expresses the 14-billion-year history of the cosmos in a 14-second loop. The loop was then transferred onto nearly 1,700 LEDs, each representative of a little chunk of outer space. As the seconds pass, the LEDs twinkle in various colors and sequences that visualize how stars’ light has changed over billions of years. “[E]ssentially we’re trying to tell the history of light,” Noam Libeskind says. “How light in the universe evolved, how it was created, how it is absorbed and re-emitted and how, over 14 billion years, the light in the entire universe was changing and was in turn affecting the evolution of the universe.”

EL Masterpiece stands nearly 9 feet tall, weighs a whopping 350 pounds, and has a polished steel exterior and a 23-karat gold finish inside. The lighting can be controlled wirelessly via an iPad. Price is available on request.

[Images courtesy of Zumtobel; hat tip to The Architect’s Newspaper]

About the author

Suzanne LaBarre is the editor of Co.Design. Previously, she was the online content director of Popular Science and has written for the New York Times, the New York Observer, Newsday, I.D.



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