Monthly Archives: December 2014

Artist Uses Gehry’s Concert Hall as Canvas in LA Philharmonic Concert Series

Refik Anadol

The first week of December marked the beginning of the LA Philharmonic’s in/SIGHT concert series. The multimedia series will incorporate video images playing in sync with the performance, creating an immersive new way to experience the music for concert-goers. The first of these performances was the collaborative work of conductor Esa-pekka Salonen and artist Refik Anadol in an audio-visual rendition of Edgard Varèse’s Amériques. Using audio analysis and Kinect motion capture software to record Salonen’s movements while conducting, Anadol has created a stunning set of moving images that capture the very spirit of Varèse’s work. Learn more about this fascinating project, after the break.

Click HERE to read more about the project.

Image provided by: Refik Anadol

Article Written by: Connor Walker

Source: ArchDaily

Visions of America: Amériques / LA Phil / Video Artist Cut from Refik Anadol on Vimeo.

Trends Magazine Features Interview with Abhay Wadhwa

AWA Design Principal recently sat down with Home & Design Trends Magazine to talk about lighting, and how it is not merely a form of illumination but a tool for story telling.

The following is an except from the interview. CLICK HERE to download full PDF Article

You were initially pursuing architecture. What made you suddenly venture into light design?
As a young boy, I loved to create and had a knack for making things and that was the prime reason why I enrolled for architecture at the JJ School of Architecture in 1987. While I was in college, I was not a very focused student and was involved in organizing college shows and fests. There was this one particular students conference of architecture that I was organizing, Which had musicians coming and playing. Just before we were about to begin the man who was in-charge for the light and music needed some help and I volunteered to help him out to set the stage. So I climbed up on the catwalk and was setting up the lights and the moment I finished and the lights went on, I knew I wanted to venture into light design. In those few seconds I knew this is what I wanted to do. It was almost like an instant realization. Now when I look back, I still get goose bumps because I did not realize I was going to stick with it for this long but even back then I knew that I loved it.

What would you call as the turning point in your career?
The turning point would have to be my time at the Lighting Research Center at RPI in upstate New York. I moved to it after my time at University of Southern California. I had one year at USC and that was fun but this was real, a serious boot camp and I was working as a research assistant for my stipend and I was doing an unfunded thesis that was published in technical papers. This is what I wanted to do, I wanted to learn light design right down to the last bit, so that I could really craft it. Mark Rea, the director of my centre who is still a great friend, told me something very special once I finished the programme. He said, “When you came in, you were all over the place and we straightened you out.” Frankly, I don’t disagree with that. I was all over the place. They channelized me. From being a crazy kid who was doing everything, they straightened me out and I have no problem in accepting that because he was and still is one of the best vision scientists in the world. He once said, “If you are a good scientist then you need to design and if you are a good designer you need to know how the technical stuff works. You see that realization, left side, right side of the brain, that’s rubbish. I think both sides of the brain have to work with what I do. In architecture also it’s not about one side of the brain, the left side of the brain. If you’re really creating architecture, you can’t really do it without knowing the technical side. So in that it’s kind of bauhausian, like the Bauhaus School, that you need to know your craft. I have always been fascinated by the German and Japanese system of being apprentices in order to learn your craft.

What parameters do you take into consideration while executing your light design?
When I look at a space one of the first few things one would take into consideration would be of how one would approach it, where the poetry lies, where is the emotional connect and where is the science. Functionality is another important aspect. Also there needs to be a connect with the architecture and how to augment the light with it. So after the initial analysis, we start looking at is the focal points of a project. Light is not merely an illumination. It is a storytelling and an illustrative medium.


– Interview with Kamna Malik

Project Update – The Ark of Return: Lest We Forget

We are pleased to share that construction is set to begin on the ‘Ark of Return’, a memorial that will be permanently on display at the Plaza at United Nations Headquarters in New York. This memorial will be erected in memory of the victims of slavery and the transatlantic slave trade. Please see below for renderings of the project at night.


AWA is honored be a member of this team, ably led by Rodney Leon. 


Client: United Nations Permanent Memorial Committee  

Architect: Rodney Leon Architects

Lighting Consultant: AWA Lighting Designers

Structural Consultant: Robert Silman Associates

MEP Consultant: Morozov PE

Water Feature Consultant: Delta Fountains

Renderings: Rodney Leon Architects

Select Press Coverage:

UNStories: The Ark of Return: Let We Forget 

UN: International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery

UN News Centre: Telling the stories of 15 million slaves in a UN memorial

UNESCO: ‘The Ark of Return’ Press Release

Jamaica Observer: Monument to slavery now set for 2015 unveiling at UN


Aerial View of the Memorial

Aerial View of the Memorial


View of the Memorial from First Avenue

View of the Memorial from First Avenue


Hundreds of Interactive Butterflies Change Colors and Patterns by Smartphone

On the Wings of Freedom

On the Wings of Freedom

For the Amsterdam Light Festival, which goes on from now through January 2015, Italian design studio Aether & Hemera have created On the Wings of Freedom, a radiant cloud of hundreds of butterflies that hover above the ground. The dazzling installation can be found along the walking route of the festival, at Wertheimpark. Visitors with a smartphone are welcome to change the lighting effects which means they can manipulate the colors and patterns of light.

The butterflies represent metamorphosis and freedom across all cultures. Essentially, this installation is about the transformation of a city, in this case, Amsterdam. As they state, “The city is a place where people can continuously be inspired, not only culturally but also socially; a place for ongoing change and progress. On the Wings of Freedom symbolizes this potential change and evolution.

“With our installation’s dynamic waves of colors we wanted to celebrate Amsterdam’s bubbles and buzzes of activities, thoughts and interactions.”

“The joyous flapping creatures in the Wertheimpark are not just a source of beauty and enjoyment, but also a request: keep the change coming. It’s what Amsterdam is all about. It’s been said that a butterfly can cause a storm. Leave it to these butterflies to cause a hurricane of light and creativity.”

Click HERE to see more images of the project.

Article Written by: Alice Yoo

Source: My Modern Met

Undulating “Light Bridge” Over Amsterdam’s Canals

tjep. illuminates amsterdam’s canals with undulating light bridge

Tjep. illuminates amsterdam’s canals with undulating light bridge

This winter, from now until January 18th, 2015, the capital of the Netherlands will light up once again up for the third annual Amsterdam light festival, when the historical center becomes a dynamic showcase of light and movement. For the occasion, dutch studio Tjep. has created a luminous, undulating installation along the Amstel in the center of the city. ‘Light Bridge’ draws reference from the classic arches of a typical Amsterdam canal bridge, and evolves the lines and and curves into a free-flowing sculpture that both reflects the movement of boats on water and from the street above.

Click HERE to read more about the project.

Article Written by: Nina Azzarello

Photo courtesy of: Tjep

Source: Designboom

TOP 10 Temporary Structures of 2014

2014 serpentine pavilion by smiljan radic

2014 serpentine pavilion by smiljan radic

The past twelve months have seen a wealth of temporary projects realized across the globe. While schemes of this nature are challenging for architects, (with smaller budgets and short timescales), there is also an element of freedom involved, which can allow for a greater level of invention and detailing. Often conceived as public buildings, designs must function at a human scale, interacting with their occupants, while truly testing the limits of architectural innovation and engineering. Designboom has taken a look at the top 10 temporary structures of 2014.

Click HERE to read more about the top 10 projects.

Article Written by: Philip Stevens

Photo © Iwan Baan

Source: Designboom

1024’s “Vortex” Installation Unites Environmental Analysis and Art

Courtesy of 1024 architecture

Courtesy of 1024 architecture

Paris-based firm 1024 architecture has created Vortex, a generative light sculpture located within the Darwin Ecosystem Project’s green building in Bordeaux, France. The “architectural fragment” consists of scaffolding, raw wood, and twelve lines of LED light. With colored LED lights appearing to shoot across the structure, a new spatial experience is created, which also informs viewers about energy consumption within the building.

Click HERE to read more about the project.

Article Written by: Evan Rawn

Image Courtesy of: 1024 architecture

Source: Archdaily