olafur eliasson's green light workshop brings refugees + local communities together through design
olafur eliasson's green light workshop brings refugees + local communities together through design olafur eliasson's green light workshop brings refugees + local communities together through design
may 18, 2016

olafur eliasson's green light workshop brings refugees + local communities together through design


following the success of collaboration between olarfur eliasson and thyssen-bornesmisza art contemporary (TBA21) on the ‘baroque baroque’ exhibition, the partnership has announced ‘green light’ – a socially conscious workshop exhibition in vienna. 


video courtesy of studio olafur eliasson




first conceived by olafur eliasson as a metaphorical green light for refugees and migrants in austria, the project testifies to the agency of contemporary art and its potential to initiate processes of civic transformation. ‘green light’ consists of an artistic workshop and learning platform surrounding the making of lamp modules designed by the danish-icelandic artist. the lamps are assembled on-site from materials and components that made available at TBA21. in addition to regular patrons attending the museum, young refugees, migrants and university students were invited to take part in this process of collaborative artistic practice and learning, giving rise to a space of exchange and encounter for contributors from a range of backgrounds.

the ‘green light’ lamp
all images courtesy of studio eliasson




‘green light is an act of welcoming, addressed both to those who have fled hardship and instability in their home countries and to the residents of vienna,’ explains olafur eliasson. ‘working together in a playful creative process, participants build a modular light and construct a communal environment in which difference is not only accepted but embraced. I hope green light shines light on some of the challenges and responsibilities arising from the current refugee crisis in europe and throughout the world.’


each ‘green light’ consists of a wooden frame from certified ash, nodes of 100% recycled PLA, twine made from used plastic bags, cable ties of 100% recycled nylon and a green LED. the lamp can be pre-ordered through the TBA21 shop with proceeds from sales going to initiatives helping refugees in austria. the exhibition run from march 12 to june 5, 2016.

each is constructed from environmental-sensitive materials




the artistic workshop is presented at art basel on june 18 and 19 within zome alloy — an architectural structure by artist oscar tuazo installed on messeplatz for the duration of the fair.

olafur eliasson helping visitors construct the lamps








  • Olafur I’m always in awe. Amazing!

    Cedar prest says:

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