French-born designer Gwenaël Nicolas relocated to Japan before establishing his own design company, Curiosity.JP back in 1998, from where he has created everything from perfume bottles with Issey Miyake to store concepts for Uniqlo and high-concept installations for Lexus. Nicolas is internationally renowned for his broad creative output, working across the spectrum in architectural environments, product design, interior spaces and packaging design.
As such, Nicolas' Crystal Palace creation, 'Sparks', was bound to straddle a few design boundaries. The two-part installation features a series of giant floating orbs, alongside an LED-spiked string of crystals.
The orbs - a series of 2.4m diameter, super-thin helium-filled balloons, produced using NASA technology - each contain a floating crystal sculpture, which emits LED light in tandem with the 10m string of crystals, designed by Nicolas to discharge an occasional 'spark' of light across the space. The multi-part installation has been designed, explains Nicolas, to replicate 'a space with no gravity' where 'crystal and light become life'.