Lightcicles

Submitted by John Blazy

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Client: Western Michigan University

Location: Kalamazoo, USA

Completion date: 2013

Project Team

Artist

John Blazy

John Blazy Designs / Dichrolam, LLC

Other

James Weber

John Blazy Designs / Dichrolam, LLC

Interior Designer

Beth Jarl

Western Michigan University, faculty / Interior Designer

Industry Resource

Robert Halper

Halper Lighting Solutions

Overview

Eight, sixteen foot tall dichroic glass chandeliers were installed in the main west corridor and entry vestibule in the new Sangren Hall of Western Michigan University. Each “Lightcicle” was comprised of over 600 lbs of Dichrolam dichroic laminated glass, stainless steel, and custom made LED light bars as well as LED MR16 up and down lighting within the interior of each sculpture.

Goals

The WMU artist selection committee encouraged the artists to provide artwork that spurred creative thinking in the minds of students and faculty through the use of color and innovative materials. The vectored form of each Lightcicle is metaphoric of majestic, floating "Sentries", functioning as guardians of this space of higher learning. Another intentional design metaphor was to create multiple reflective facets, cascading and regressing into its lowest terminating panel in which the Lightcicles appeared to be giant stalactites adorning a giant, off-world crystal cave. One prominent member of the committee asked for a "classy" design, in which the Lightcicle's architectural geometry complements the line quality of the surrounding architecture exactly.

Process

I had submitted a different design utilizing our dichroic acrylic laminations to reduce weight and overall costs, and the committee, knowing that I also manufactured the largest dichroic laminated glass panels in the world, asked to see a design utilizing my glass, as a last minute request. I consider this to be one of the highest levels of collaboration, as I was given creative freedom without restriction to pursue a more elegant design, so in four days I designed the "Lightcicle". Their request drew out of me a design that I didn't know I had. I also collaborated with lighting designer, Robert Halper, to include high density diode LED light bars within each lightcicle through custom made acrylic diffusion tubes that are not available anywhere in the world.

Additional Information

I have custom made laminating ovens that allow me to laminate dichroic glass panels up to 4ft x 12ft utilizing patented, proprietary techniques and raw materials to mimic metal deposition dichroic glass, yet with higher color saturation and color shift travel. Every component of this sculpture was made in the JBD shop, except for the laser cutting of the stainless steel. All glass was laminated, all SST assembled and welded, twenty four light bars machined from acrylic tube stock, and installation by JBD team.