It’s often said the variety is the spice of life. And while that sentiment does ring true in many instances, in the design world (at least in our opinion) contrast also seems to create that spice. There’s something intriguing about the push and pull, the ebb and flow of two opposing elements generating a distinctive tension, highlighting and defining characteristics of each. It’s not simply a particular appearance or a quality. It’s more a feeling, a dynamism that is uniquely palpable to that conflicting pair.
That being said, it’s probably not surprising that we love when contradictory combinations are integrated into designs, especially when they are done in an unsuspecting or unassuming way. The designers at Lighting Design Collective have accomplished just this in their Silo 468 project. Using an old, dilapidated silo, they developed a work of not only art and light, but upon closer inspection, an intricate matrix of differences as well.
Silo 468 is no doubt striking in its own physicality. With cutting edge technology monitoring the constantly evolving weather conditions, the exterior LEDs respond in real-time with the switch of the wind or the plunk of a raindrop. The exterior perforations also allow sunlight to beam in to the Silo’s interior, forming unique patterns as the sun move across the sky. Combined, both create dancing illumination in unpredictable configurations. The Silo seems almost alive, living, and breathing; it’s truly an experience for all the senses.
But it’s when you begin to dig a little deeper and look beyond the surface, that you start to realize the various contrasts and dynamic interminglings at play. Sunlight vs. artificial illumination; nature vs. technology; fluid vs. rigid, intuitive vs. intended; transitory vs. timeless; complexity vs. simplicity; positive vs. negative; light vs. shadow – we could go on forever. Instead of fighting one another, these dichotomies all work together to enhance their individual idiosyncrasies and blend harmoniously into one entity. It’s this contrast upon contrast, and layer upon layer, that defines the feature not only as a singular being, but one that resonates as a synchronized chorus of opposites as well.
So here’s a salute not only to the Silo 468 project, but to the idea of contrast – for giving us that “spice” in the design world; the spatial tension that has the power to stop us in our tracks.
Image credits: Lighting Design Collective