Miami 2020 – Maison Perrier-Jouët teamed up again with Katharina Mischer and Thomas Traxler of Austrian design practice mischer’traxler studio for The Curiosity Cloud chandelier at the DesignMiami/ Podium exhibition.
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The lighting installation is composed of 22 mouth-blown glass bulbs of three different sizes, specially created by the renowned Viennese glassware company Lobmeyr. Each contains a delicate, hand-crafted replica of an insect common in the United States, speaking to the America(s) theme of DesignMiami/2020.
Among the native insects are also a number of invasive species, illustrating changes to nature that have been brought about by human activities such as global travel and transportation.
From a distance, the insects within the chandelier are quiet and still. Just one or two seem to come to life, their vessels emitting a soft, glowing light. As the intrigued spectator is drawn towardst hem, more insects start to move, swirling around inside their glass bulbs, their fluttering wings creating a subtle soundscape.
“Many of our projects try to raise appreciation and awareness of a well-balanced ecosystem.” explain Katharina Mischer and Thomas Traxler. “This fits in well with the House’s historically linked vision of beauty and nature, and its respect for its natural product.”
Indeed, as in a cabinet of curiosities, this sensory installation presents the beauty and diversity of nature, yet also highlights its fragility and vulnerability, prompting reflections that have immediate relevance today. The use of technology allows the interactive installation to draw the viewer in, triggering surprise, intrigue and discussion.
The Curiosity Cloud chandelier also draws inspiration from the Art Nouveau movement, with which Maison Perrier-Jouët is historically associated. The designers’ focus on insects, revealing sometimes unexpected beauty, nods to their emergence as a key motif in Art Nouveau.
All images – Courtesy of Perrier-Jouët.