Interview with Arash Abbaszadeh, Lead Designer of Moist Sparkle – Emerging Lighting Product Design of the Year Recipient
December 26, 2023
Step into the world of “Moist Sparkle,” the award-winning lighting installation by Arash Abbaszadeh. Designed at the University Hochschule Wismar for Galerie wolkenbank kunst+räume, this piece earned the LIGHTING PRODUCT DESIGN accolade at the LIT Lighting Design Awards 2023.
Abbaszadeh, under the guidance of Prof. Jan Blieske and Prof. Bettina Menzel, brings to life the delicate interplay of morning moisture and daylight, inspired by German literature’s poetic metaphors. Set against the backdrop of climate change challenges, “Moist Sparkle” captures the beauty of morning dew on silver hair. In our interview, Abbaszadeh unveils the project’s experimental exploration of winter horizon sun rays, skillfully blending very cold color temperature artificial light with northern Europe’s extended blue hours. The installation, featuring glass-blown lighting, scatters droplets within an incomplete sphere, each with varying salt and water concentrations.
With a narrow beam up-lighting technique, “Moist Sparkle” creates a twilight-like interference, offering distinct experiences at both micro and macro levels. Join us as we journey through the artistic vision and innovative techniques that define “Moist Sparkle,” a testament to the evolving intersection of nature and artificial light in the realm of contemporary design.
Moist Sparkle / Arash Abbaszadeh
Could you tell us a little about yourself?
My name is Arash Abbaszadeh, an architect born in 1992 in Iran. My journey in architecture and interior design began in 2010, and over the years, I’ve cultivated experiences in residential and hospitality design. Currently, I’m embarking on a new chapter, pursuing my second master’s degree in architectural lighting design at Wismar University in Germany. This academic endeavor represents a significant step in my commitment to exploring innovative intersections between light and space.
Can you explain the concept behind Moist Sparkle? How did you take inspiration from old German literature and apply it to the design?
“Moist Sparkle” was an artistic endeavor that sake to capture the ethereal interplay between morning dew and light. phenomenon The concept draws its inspiration from metaphors found in German literature, where the incidence of morning dew on spider net is poetically likened to moisture on silver hair. This metaphor serves as the heart of this human scale installation, creating scattered moist sparkling drops into space that resonate as both strange and familiar in the viewer’s subconscious.
The aim was not just to create a physical representation of this natural occurrence but to evoke emotional connections with the sound of rain and winds into the cold abandoned edge of the building. By translating the metaphor into a visual and immersive experience, the installation tried to become a poetic dialogue between nature, literature, and light.
Can you describe the process behind the creation of the droplets? How did you play with the salt and water concentration to achieve different glass formations?
The creation of the droplets involved a very experimental process. An incomplete sphere was formed, and within it, droplets were scattered. Each droplet contained varying concentrations of salt and water. The project sought to employ a narrow beam spotlight to graze the droplets, revealing the intricate frozen details within.
The delicate appearance of light within frozen water was achieved through the careful consideration of salt concentrations. By utilizing a very cold color temperature light source, the project aimed to highlight the minuscule bubbles within the drops, creating a visually stunning experience. This experimentation with salt concentrations became a central focus, requiring numerous iterations to find the delicate balance between a semi-frozen sparkle and a murky appearance.
What was the vision behind the use of cold artificial light with the blue tones of northern European winters? How do these light fixtures enhance and play with the glass droplets?
The vision for incorporating cold artificial light with the blue hours of northern European winters was rooted in the desire to experiment with the interaction of winter horizon sun rays in the open corner of the gallery. The chosen color temperature elegantly intersected with the extended blue hours of northern Germany during winter.
The chosen color temperature served to vividly illuminate the minuscule bubbles within the drops with the coldest appearance, enhancing the overall visual experience. The incidence of light within glass-like droplets resulted in a captivating interplay that captured the essence of the chosen inspiration, morning dew, and its poetic nuances.
What challenges did you face during the design process of Moist Sparkle? How did you overcome them?
The primary effective challenge was the maintenance of salt concentrations within the droplets. Achieving the perfect refraction required a delicate balance that necessitated numerous experiments and adjustments.
The project did not attempt to prevent freezing but rather embraced it as part of the artistic expression. Determining the right amount of salt for a semi-frozen sparkle, as opposed to a murky appearance, demanded meticulous experimentation.
Moreover, the fluctuation of humidity emerged as a significant factor that needed careful consideration. Overcoming these challenges required a combination of artistic intuition and persistent experimentation. The project’s success in maintaining the concentration of salt, resulting in clear water during daylight and crispy water with outer dews until dawn, stands as a testament to the dedication invested in overcoming these challenges.
How did you apply sustainability to your design?
A decade ago, sustainability might have been a controversial approach to design, but nowadays, it is an essential aspect integrated into all design spirit. Though the project didn’t explicitly delve into sustainability discussions, it subtly conveys a message between the lines about the interconnectedness of nature, light, and artistic expression.
Congratulations on winning the LIT Awards, “Emerging Lighting Product Designer of the Year” grand title. Are there any new projects you’re working on at the moment that you can tell us about?
Currently, I am engaged in a year-long internship at The Flaming Beacon, Berlin studio. This experience is providing me with invaluable insights as I collaborate with my esteemed colleagues, focusing on high-end residential projects that serve global clients.
The exposure to such high-standing projects is expanding my skill set and offering opportunities to contribute to the broader discourse on architectural lighting design.
Last, what can we wish you for 2024?
As we look ahead to 2024, I appreciate your mesmerizing efforts in spreading the lighting design culture by promoting great examples of architectural lighting design practices. My hope for the coming year is to witness a social improvement in understanding the substantial difference between designing with light and superficially merely lit facades, and the significance of architectural lighting design.
May the small community of lighting design continue to evolve and foster a transformative power of light in our built environment. I wish for continued growth, inspiration, and meaningful contributions in the realm of architectural lighting design.
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