IN: Inspiration

conQrete Light

Exploring lightness and darkness through concrete


Inspired by the coldness of city landscapes contrasted with the warmth of natural sunlight, “conQrete Light” is an unusual lighting installation created by California-based designers Zhuoin Fang and Giangian Xu.

Lighting up Coronado Beach in San Diego and embedded right in the sand, “conQrete Light” comprises two irregular concrete hexahedron shapes.

While this grand, sculptural fixture may seem unimposing while the sun is up, it realises its full ethereal potential when the fixture is lit up after twilight. The hexahedrons encompass invisible optical fibers that generate light patterns on the exterior only once the LED lights inside them are turned on.

After experimenting with a variety of materials, Fang and Xu found that the thinness, translucence and flexibility of optical fiber allowed it to transport light without being affected by the concrete.

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“When we light up the conQrete Light on the beach after sunset, the light pattern on the surface is both subtle and strong, which is embraced by the beach and ocean,” the designers comment. 

The designers embraced the beach in other ways, too. They incorporated a variety of different coloured sand from San Diego’s many beaches into the concrete mix that was used to form the shapes in order to evoke “a sense of belonging”. Three different colours of sand can be found on the beaches of San Diego’s 30-mile-long coastline: white, yellow and black.  In addition to the symbolic aspect of incorporating the sand, the combination of these colours contributes a natural tone to the concrete finish.

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Fang and Xu are interested in exploring the implementation of resident materials and patterns from different locations and local environments into their design work. “conQrete Light” is the first prototype of their planned “conQrete Light-city” series, which, according to the designers, is “on the way” soon.

Link to video:

Images: Design Boom

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