Q&A: Tord Boontje’s Fanciful Lights

Tord Boontje, Designer
Midsummer Light and Garland Light, 2004
Artecnica

Where did you get the idea for the lights’ design?
From walking through forests and watching how the light interacts with nature.

What’s innovative about them?
The Midsummer Light is made from Tyvek (usually used for FedEx envelopes and medical gowns), therefore it is non-tearable but has the flexibility of paper.

What was the greatest challenge to realizing the design?
This large amount of detail had never before been cut industrially in this scale. The manufacturers also had to learn how to produce the designs.

Did anything interesting happen during the development of the lights?
We only made models during the design process, as it was necessary to see how the material behaved. We then hand-cut twenty models before we had something we were very happy with. After this we were then able to scan the design into the computer and make the production file.

Is there anything you absolutely must do while you’re in New York for the ICFF?
Take a nice walk.

What’s your favorite object?
The latest and the oldest objects.
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