It was in 2002 that Tord Boontje first began his famous collaboration with Swarovski, creating Blossom as part of Swarovski Crystal Palace’s presentation for Salone del Mobile. So it is fitting that this, the creative partnership’s 15th year, should coincide with the launch of Boontje’s newest collection of chandelier and lighting components made with Swarovski crystals.
London-based, and originally from the Netherlands, he is renowned for his powerful and expressive contemporary lighting statements. Sometimes whimsical, always experimental, they never fail to elicit strong emotions, and have been snapped up for major museum collections, such as London’s V&A, New York’s MoMA, and Melbourne’s National Gallery of Victoria, among many other prominent public exhibition spaces.
View our video, below, with Tord Boontje sharing his insights into how he uses crystal to push the creative boundaries of his work.
A consummate creative thinker, Boontje has also turned his hand to jewelry design: these range from the simplicity of pieces that combine richly colored crystals with simple cherry pips from his aunt’s garden, to his collection for Atelier Swarovski, which includes a stunning necklace based on the design of Blossom chandelier. “On the one hand,” he says, “I create things that are contemporary and modern; on the other, they are also very human and romantic. Crystal helps, because it adds a feeling of romance and glamour.”
Boontje has brought the same qualities to his latest collection of chandeliers, entitled Luminous Reflections, which is inspired by the shimmering reflections of sunlight on water. Launching under the newly revived Swarovski Crystal Palace brand, the sculptural forms consist of large, unfaceted crystal components in fluid and organic shapes. They are the first of their kind in Swarovski’s 122-year history, and were designed by Boontje together with Swarovski’s product development team at the company’s headquarters in Wattens, Austria. Many hours were spent in the Swarovski Archive researching the company’s heritage; the outcome was innovative crystals that capture nature’s wild beauty at the same time as the exquisite refinement of some of the finest crystal jewelry in the world.
A stunning example is the Luminous Bough chandelier, which perfectly showcases the capabilities of the new components. The result of highly complex production techniques, the chandeliers include integrated LED technology and feature curved crystals with either polished or frosted rippled surfaces designed to produce soft, “organic” light effects. Despite the absence of faceting, the crystals throw out astonishing shards of light.
Luminous Reflections is the culmination of 15 years of working with Swarovski: “I understand how light and crystal work together—it can illuminate a room with bright sparkle or create dazzling glamour as jewelry,” he explains. “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 on a lake as dancing light reflections. For me, these chandeliers really celebrate the organic quality of light that crystal can create.”
Specially developed for the interior lighting industry, the new crystals will be available for designers to purchase in fall 2017. The crystal chandeliers will be on sale via Swarovski Professional distributors and B2B channels from the same time.