The Starbrick is an experiment with light modulation and space, developed through ongoing research into the relations between space and geometry at my studio. Our initial idea of generating a complex brick geometry led to the development of the star-shaped modules, based on a stackable principle that produces three types of space: the solid structure of the module itself, the negative space at its core in the form of a ‘cubeoctahedron’, and the polyhedric shapes that appear between the modules when stacked. In past years, my studio has conducted a number of light experiments in collaboration with Zumtobel, one of which centred on the different qualities and hues of LED light. The LEDs were placed within the individual modules and eventually resulted in the Starbrick.
I have developed a module that, while functioning as an object in itself, can also be assembled to form cloud-like structures as well as basic architectural elements such as walls, whether freestanding or integrated into a larger structure, suspended ceilings, columns of all shapes, sizes and volumes – theoretically, you could build a luminous Starbrick house! The expandable, generous principle makes it possible for people to buy a lamp system that relates to its surroundings. Depending on the context, you can change the system; whether in a small study or a public institution, the module can be used as a building unit, synthesising light, geometry and volume.
By collaborating with Zumtobel, I have had the opportunity to develop a lamp for everyday use and living.
It poses questions that are central to both contemporary art and society: how does light define space? How does it influence the way we experience the world?
Light opens up indeterminate spaces and challenges us to redefine our sensibility. It has a strong performative potential: its ephemeral character tends to generate individual feelings and narratives, often in social contexts.
Light has a crucial impact on our understanding of our immediate surroundings, the larger geo-political context, sustainability, the consequences of our actions, the social relations in which we are entangled, as well as of ourselves.
If we enhance our light sensibility, letting aesthetic and eco-ethical concerns intertwine, I think we will begin to conceive differently of space. The Starbrick is one attempt at doing just that.
The basic structure of the Starbrick is a cube on whose six surfaces additional cubes have been placed at a 45° angle. These additional cubes serve as connectors so that several Starbricks can be conjoined.