Painting with Light: Tord Boontje's Luminous Reflections

Luminous Reflections, Tord Boontje’s new modern-romantic chandelier and crystal components collection, takes the concept of lighting to the next level.

Dutch-born, London-based Tord Boontje’s relationship with Swarovski began in 2002, when he designed Blossom for Swarovski Crystal Palace’s presentation at Salone del Mobile. With its twisted, bejeweled blossom branches inspired by nature and crystal, it heralded the start of a trail-blazing partnership that captivated the design world.

Now, Boontje is marking 15 years of collaborating with Swarovski by yet again redefining the chandelier with his latest collection, Luminous Reflections. Describing his creations as “jewels of light,” the four chandeliers are inspired by the shimmering reflections of sunlight on water, each created using the fluid, organic shapes of Arc, Swirl and Circle, the large, unfaceted crystal components created by Boontje. By positioning the new crystals very precisely, in the same way that precious stones would be placed in a piece of jewelry, he has created something completely new to the world of lighting design.

“To create a chandelier you must understand how light and crystal work together,” Boontje explains. “I understand that now. It can illuminate a room with bright sparkle or create dazzling glamour like jewelry. For the first time, I’ve had the opportunity to change the shape of lighting crystals: I wanted a “soft light” effect—the quality of light you see in a misty or snowy landscape, or as dancing light reflection on a lake, rather than the traditional idea of the sparkly chandelier.”

Tord Boontje has been exceptionally successful in his quest: the smooth, rippled surfaces of the new crystal components produce precisely the organic quality of light that he was looking for in his Luminous Reflections chandelier collection.

The new crystal components Arc, Swirl and Circle will be available in fall 2017 at Swarovski Professional distributors and B2B channels, followed by the Luminous Reflections chandeliers from spring 2018.

The crystal components used by Tord Boontje in his chandelier collection are the first unfaceted crystals created by Swarovski for the lighting sector, created by the designer himself, together with the product development team at the company’s headquarters in Wattens, Austria.

“The idea for Luminous Reflections,” says Boontje, “started with a desire to bring naturalness and calmness into our home. Swarovski crystal is a very pure material, and I started thinking about the interplay between light and water as a reference for what I was looking for.” It was the different qualities of light that interested him—soft morning light filtering through mist or cloud; sunlight dancing on water or the rippling surface of a lake; water flowing over smooth pebbles in a stream; sunlight shining through ice, and the depth it creates inside the material. The design process started with research into understanding how the crystals he wanted to incorporate in his designs could be shaped in an organic way to exude natural light qualities.

Luminous Drops of Desire

When Tord Boontje collaborated with Swarovski to create an entirely new genre of crystal lighting component, the result was the mesmerizing Arc, Swirl and Circle.

Boontje spent many hours in the Swarovski Archive studying the company’s heritage and understanding the way light interacts with crystal. The outcome was three extra-large innovative components measuring 8cm–12cm, specially developed for the lighting industry, with fluid, unfaceted surfaces. Called Arc, Swirl and Circle, they capture nature’s wild beauty together with the refinement of the finest crystal jewelry in the world—a somewhat new direction for a company whose expertise lies in precision cutting.

He started with strong, clear circle and oval shapes, and then he varied the thickness of the material, adding ridges to focus the light and twists to curve the reflections. Next, he worked with Swarovski to develop the prototypes into a range of organic shapes and finishes, using the curved crystals with polished or frosted surfaces and integrated LED technology to produce rippled reflections of soft, glowing light.

Luminous Reflections is the culmination of his efforts, a perfect showcase that demonstrates the play of light on water. And despite the absence of faceted surfaces, Luminous Reflections’ crystals shine with astonishing brilliance, thanks to Swarovski’s highly complex production techniques.

Arc, Swirl and Circle will be available for purchase in Fall 2017.

Suspended Beauty: Luminous Reflections by Tord Boontje

Tord Boontje’s new Luminous Reflections collection of chandeliers heralds an exciting new take on contemporary crystal illumination.

This year, the 15th anniversary of his partnership with Swarovski, he has created a collection of four chandeliers entitled Luminous Reflections, consisting of Luminous Bough, Lustrous Aura, Shimmering Jewel, and Radiant Light. Launched under the newly revived Swarovski Crystal Palace brand, it was inspired by the jewelry pieces stored in the Swarovski Archive, where Boontje spent many hours researching the relationship between light and crystal.

Made using large lighting components with fluid, organic forms that symbolize a commitment to sustainability, the collection aims to mimic the reflection of sunlight on water. The outcome is chandeliers designed, says Boontje, “to give the interplay between crystals and light a kind of ethereal, natural quality.” There is much to appreciate about Tord Boontje’s contribution to the world of lighting design, but above all, we salute him for turning the centuries-old chandelier into groundbreaking contemporary works of art.

Luminous Reflections’ chandeliers will be on sale from spring 2018 via Swarovski Professional distributors and B2B channels.