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Design

Behold, LED Vases Made of Circuit Boards

These animated vases reference opposing elements of fire and water.
July 1, 2015, 3:45pm
All images courtesy the artist

Moritz Waldemeyer's pair of Ming-styled vases invite quiet contemplation: while one vase seems to radiate heat, with flickering flames in bright reds and oranges, the other glows in blue and white, suggesting soft, flowing movements. In both concept and design, the vases play on opposites. Their complex geometry is comprised of flat, angular steel pieces masterfully arranged to produce the smooth, three-dimensional curves emblematic of Chinese ceramics from the Ming dynasty. The custom pre-cut circuit boards intersect and link to one another.

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Algorithms developed with Grasshopper, a parametric plugin for Rhino CAD, were used to generate the intricate architecture of the pieces, though "what's special about the vases," explains the German designer to The Creators Project, "is the combination of the structural design with electronics." The metal components of the vases also make up their electronic circuit, allowing each LED to be controlled individually without a single piece of wire.

This is where the animations come in, with fiery hues running across the surface of one vase and cool blue tones languidly moving along the other. They reference the opposing elements of fire and water, which hold great symbolic importance in Chinese culture. Eastern Asia was already a source of inspiration for Waldemeyer in his 2013 project, The Path of the Sword, where he used long-exposure photography to capture the movements of some of the world's greatest martial artists in action.

The Ming vases made their debut earlier this year at Éléphant Paname, the 19th-century Parisian mansion turned exhibition space, for their show Lumières: Play of Brilliants. Next stop is London, where the interactive sculptures will be shown in September as part of the Future Heritage showcase at Decorex International, along with "some new developments of this idea," according to Waldemeyer.

See more works by the artist here.

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