'38' Series Living Planter Chandelier, Canada
This chandelier which can be inhabited by living plants and was highly commended in the ar+d Emerging Architecture Awards
Described by its designer Omer Arbel as a ‘surrealistically motivated re-exploration of a technique of making’, this use of glass blowing to create a kind of mutant chandelier and planter fascinated the jury. Synthesising glass, light and greenery, it imaginatively experiments with craft skills in the search for new formal and material possibilities.
A conventional glass globe is hand blown and cooled so that it maintains its form but does not crack. Airflow direction is then reversed to form a vacuum in the globe.The resulting process of implosion causes superheated hot white glass to bubble inwards. This is repeated until the original globe becomes too cool to manipulate, creating a cluster of translucent, distorted, bubble-like cavities.
The cavities are deep enough to function as repositories for small succulents and cacti. Others are used as housings for lighting elements. A network of stiff copper tubing links the delicate glass spheres and conducts electricity. The assemblage has a delightfully anarchic quality that fuses manmade and organic to compelling effect.