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Design

Glowing, Crystal-Covered Sculpture Looks Like It Came From The Fortress Of Solitude

With 9000 LED's and a WiFi-enabled Linux computer, this crystalline light installation changes colors through the click of a button.
August 8, 2014, 7:00pm

With 30 years of model-making experience for original film and TV clients at their disposal, Asylum Models & Effects has lately been expanding into fabrication work for art installations, visual merchandising, product prototyping and private commissions. For their most recent private client, they built a wifi-connected LED sculpture that's giving Superman's Fortress of Solitude a run for its money:

Approached by a client with a serious need for a crystal-encrusted lighting source, Asylum's crew of 24 model and  effect artists— a team that has tackled everything from snails to giant humans carved out from a CNC machine— divvied up the project according to respective skill sets, and began constructing the base structure to fit their custom electronics into. With 2,912 LED modules, each containing 3 lights a piece, the team used a total of 8,736 individual LED's to give their client over 16 million programable color choices.

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With almost 9,000 lights, and the long-term, domestic nature of the installation weighing down on Asylum, the team decided to install a full Linux computer into the sculpture. Beefed up for added reliability with a series of unique PCB boards, and WiFi support, the embedded computer is accessible via a webpage from the client's mobile phone, allowing, as Asylum states, "the client to customise colours and patterns at a click of a button."

Spanning the functionality of a bedtime nightlight through a full-on psychedelic party attraction, we've never seen anything quite like this multi-faceted disco pole— but we do hope whoever owns it invites us over.

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