ross lovegrove: liquidkristal for lasvit
ross lovegrove: liquidkristal for lasvit ross lovegrove: liquidkristal for lasvit
apr 25, 2012

ross lovegrove: liquidkristal for lasvit

installation view of ‘liquidkristal’ by ross lovegrove for lasvit on display at the triennale di milano during milan design week 2012 image © designboom




developed by british designer ross lovegrove in collaboration with czech glass and crystal producers lasvit, ‘liquidkristal’ is a high precision heat transfer process of creating organic-like glass panels, developed towards the innovative use of the material in large-scale architectural installation. the system permits the precise forming of any mathematically describable design, and individual panels can showcase slightly ‘shifted’ versions of the model, creating the effect of an organically flowing pattern across a building or other large structure. the innovative method also lets designers or architects control the level of opacity of segments of glass, utilizable in creating spaces where certain features are highlighted and others blend off into a blurry play of color and light.

an up close look at the undulating glass walls and their reflection on the pavilion floor image © designboom



at the triennale di milano during milan design week 2012, lovegrove and lasvit exhibited the ‘liquidkristal’ technology in the ‘lasvit liquidkristal (LLK) pavilion’: a curved, flowing installation open to exploration by visitors, upon which video by computational designers biothing was projected to highlight the reflective qualities of the material. the panels themselves are smooth on their exterior, while the inner surface follows a valley of dips and pockets, which is what causes the fascinating play of light on objects visualized through the panels from any angle.

view of the floor’s surface, with the play of reflections from the glass panels image © designboom

full view of the pavilion image © designboom

ross lovegrove talks with designboom about the design process behind ‘liquidkristal’ image above: leon jakimič, founder of lasvit, takes an interview inside the ‘lasvit liquidkristal pavilion’ video © designboom



to develop the technique, ross lovegrove and a research team at lasvit used fluid dynamics research to investigate the densification of large-scale patterns in nature. this information was then inserted into mathematical models to develop the thermal inductive process — or ‘high precision heat transfer’– that underlies the glass’s production. ‘liquidkristal’ is most fundamentally a process: an innovative technique of molding glass that enables a high level of precision; and lovegrove envisions the project as the first step in what is more importantly ‘project based design’. ‘I’ll lend [architects and designers]  my technology’, he explains, and have them develop their own designs for use in their work, listing david chipperfield, toyo ito, tokujin yoshioka, and zaha hadid among the architects whom he would like to collaborate.

the progression of the ‘swarming’ video causes a flow of colours and imagery upon the installation image © designboom

view of the floor of the installation image © designboom -->



his own future research with the technology might include investigating the use of special coatings or the embedding of solar panels  into the units, or filling the glass pockets with solid materials to offer  additional reflective effects. ‘glass is a facilitator of giving you all the acoustic and climatic comfort but it also gives you that visibility. and to take that to another level  where you zone it– instead of it just being a repeated sheet– doesn’t sound like a radical idea [but it is]. we are talking about design as an effective tool to create jobs, to build new businesses; to create a new sparkle in an industry that is a little bit overlooked in my estimation.‘  – ross lovegrove, in an interview with designboom

the undulating glass panels distort the flow of the projected imagery heightening visual effects of the installation image © designboom



in the installation at milan’s triennale design museum for milan design week, the pavilion is created from 24 self-supporting glass panels, each constructed using progressive ‘steps’ of the wave pattern in the high-precision molding process. to showcase the reflective effects of the glass design, the video ‘swarming – light ecology’ by computational designers biothing was projected onto a large screen, the colours and shapes of its computer-generated ‘lifeforms’ mutating and shifting in the lightplayof the ‘liquidkristal’ panels.

one of the entry points of the pavilion image © designboom

additional view image © designboom

where the glass paneled walls meet the pavilion’s ceiling image © designboom

a sidelong look at the flowing interior surface of the glass image © designbom

designer ross lovegrove pictured within the installation portrait © designboom

view of the video screen through the glass panels, with the projection reflected back up upon the ceiling image © designboom

close view of the interior surface and floor reflections, in cyan light image © designboom

images from the ‘swarming’ video by biothing

the pavilion adopts a shifting range of colours, based on the play of light caused by its surrounding environment and projections view more examples interspersed in the video interview with ross lovegrove above


render of the ‘liquidkristal’ pavilion for lasvit

construction diagram of the pattern aggregation of the pavilion

mathematical model of the forces underlying the ‘lasvit liquidkristal’ panels

surface topography of ‘lasvit liquidkristal’

  • absolutely great. lovegrove is one of the last remaining real designers of contemporary times, as far as i’m concerned. nicely done.

    reinhard says:

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