French-born designer Gwenaël Nicolas
(Image credit: press)

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'.

Rosa Bertoli was born in Udine, Italy, and now lives in London. Since 2014, she has been the Design Editor of Wallpaper*, where she oversees design content for the print and online editions, as well as special editorial projects. Through her role at Wallpaper*, she has written extensively about all areas of design. Rosa has been speaker and moderator for various design talks and conferences including London Craft Week, Maison & Objet, The Italian Cultural Institute (London), Clippings, Zaha Hadid Design, Kartell and Frieze Art Fair. Rosa has been on judging panels for the Chart Architecture Award, the Dutch Design Awards and the DesignGuild Marks. She has written for numerous English and Italian language publications, and worked as a content and communication consultant for fashion and design brands.