boris acket, chris van meer and lumus instruments have collaborated to give the city of amsterdam its very own lighthouse. called ‘BAKEN’ — dutch for beacon — the temporary art piece was conceived as ‘a calming lantern on the horizon in these uncertain times.’ the work was shut down by port authorities on the second day after it was erected, but luckily these images were shot before.

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images by dammes mees kieft and toon rooijmans



BAKEN was realized in collaboration with ampco flashlight and van ham tenten & podia, and commissioned by stichting NDSM werf for the 2020 edition of amsterdam dance event (ADE) — a five-day electronic music festival. unlike ancient fire signals that were lit to attract attention and traditional lighthouses that help to navigate and guide lost travelers, BAKEN was designed to communicate a sign of life. it could even be interpreted as a subtle cry for help.

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when observed intently, viewers could even distinguish an animated heartbeat: a sound translated to light, without being audible. in this way, the project emphasized the deafening silence of ADE 2020, which has announced a digital version of the event in light of COVID-19. 

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while BAKEN was meant to be experienced from a distance, a small surprise awaited observers as they got closer. a set of subwoofers was beating the heart around slowly. the heartbeat was compiled out of the low end of the most used kicks (bass-drums) in dance music. BAKEN was made with 7,800 3 watt power LEDs, each equipped with a 10-degree lens, able to cover multiple kilometers in distance. the work was 12 meters high and the circular construction ranged 6 meters in diameter.

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project info:


project name: BAKEN

location: amsterdam, the netherlands

design: boris acket, chris van meer, lumus instruments

photography: dammes mees kieft and toon rooijmans


designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.


edited by: lynne myers | designboom