Lighting as Architecture explored at the 2022 Madrid Design Festival

May 31, 2022
The Fiat Lux.3, a light art installation displayed at the 2022 Madrid Design Festival, uses light to create virtual architecture.

Light art installation Fiat Lux.3 Architectures of Light, shown at the 2022 Madrid Design Festival, creates virtual architecture with light. Lighting designer Antoni Arola, who heads Esudi Antoni Arola based in Barcelona, and light manufacturer Simon, headquartered in Madrid, combined their talents and technologies to develop the installation. Their work gave dimensionality to light and spaces, with scenes that came alive by combining scenography, theater, and sound effects.

“Architecture is created from light,” says Arola. “Fiat Lux.3 is our interpretation of light as a building material. Non-existent spaces appear out of nowhere, mutate, mix, cut, dialogue, and fade away,” he points out. The primary components were a smoke machine, Generadador lasers, arc 20 RGB, 20W, and a Beyond control system plus DMX.

To create these “nonexistent spaces,” the exhibition hall was filled with smoke at timed intervals with a number of lasers positioned on lighting stands to create two-dimensional planes of light that sliced through the smoke. “These two-dimensional planes formed walls of light, construction elements that changed and moved as they were interrupted by objects and passing visitors,” he described.

A tree formed a focal point for the exhibition and was fitted to a motorized base that slowly spun and rotated. Lasers faced the tree and swept side-to-side to create piercing strips of light as the planes came into contact with the tree’s rotating branches.

A soundscape by Mans O was paired with the light installation to provide visitors with an immersive experience.

The installation is an ongoing project sponsored by Arola and Simon that evolves and adapts to different spaces as it moves from one location to another.

This article appeared in the May 2022 issue of Architectural SSL magazine.

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Architectural SSL staff

In January 2024, Architectural SSL evolved to LightSPEC. While the name changed, the editorial focus -- writing and developing audience-first content about architectural lighting in the built environment for architects, interior designers, lighting designers and manufacturers, and specifiers of commercial and residential lighting and controls -- remains the same.