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Magician of the Shades

RenoYang 2016-07-31 10:11

Driven by nothing but his intuition and curiosity,designer Dennis Parren's studio creates work that is characterized by extensive research, experimentation, and a lot of trail and error to push the boundaries design. Based in Eindhoven in The Netherlands, Studio Dennis Parren states: “We design from the idea that light = everything. Without light there is no colour, and no life.” Eindhoven is known as the city of light and is home to such brands as Philips, ASML, NXP, and the High Tech Campus. Considered to be one of the smartest regions world- wide, this city was named “hands-down the most inventive city in the world” by Forbes magazine.


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Fittingly for such an inventive city comes Parren’s rst lighting design - the CMYK Lamp. The complex geometric lines of the lamp are colourless, but when lit, they cast coloured shadows in the pigment colours - cyan, magenta, yellow.

This seemingly magical 3D printed lamp was rst shown at Galleria Rossana Orlandi in Milan and immediately attracted curious crowds who were baf ed by how a seemingly white light can create such vivid and colourful patterns. With such a tremendous reception, it was no surprised that Studio Dennis Parren found their name solidly planted on the shortlists for numerous Dutch design awards.


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“Like the sun, white light consists of red, green and blue light (RGB),” Parren explains. “Everyone has a different understanding of light. Some people think it’s white and others, coloured. These feelings are in uenced by what people see and think. With the CMYK Lamp, we are trying to fuse the rays. Just like mixing red, green, and blue makes sunshine plain white in general.”

The CMYK bulb was developed and launched by Dennis Parren Studio in 2013, and is the rst LED bulb that can cast coloured shadows. Later on, their work was included in the Lightopia exhibition in Vitra Design Museum. “It’s a privilege and a great honour to see our work among the works of world-famous designers,” says Parren. The Vitra Museum in Weil on the Rhine, Germany, is among the world’s leading museums of design, dedicated to the research and presentation of design past and present.


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For the Biennale Internationale Design Saint-Etienne in 2015, the studio presented an installation called Gradients. By carefully placing white expanded polystyrene shapes in a pattern under the RGB lights, they controlled how much light each shape reflects and which colours blend, resulting in a magical eld of different coloured gradients. By rotating the position of the red, green and blue light, different gradients became visible before making a dramatic pause to white light, proving that this is no trick, just the simple blending of colours on white shaped material. The effect was very dramatic. As for the effect of light reflex and colour blending, the mystery and beauty of light and colour never fails to attract people’s curiosity.

On the Lowlands Festival last year, Studio Dennis Parren created a special lighting sculpture - a tower calledLift. Measuring 18 metres high, the continuously changing and mystical Lift sparked the imagination of more than 48,000 visitors during this three-day iconic music festival in The Netherlands.


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Inspired by the festival’s theme of ‘Kiss Another Sky’, the dream of another world, and the excitement of experi- encing something completely new, Parren set his studio the goal to create a unique sculpture that would stand out in this energetic surrounding; a tower of light to function as a central meeting point and a point of orientation that can be seen from everywhere. Inside the 18 metre high sculpture there was a moving LED platform that projected both black, white, and coloured shadows on the outside of the tower, creating a calm, almost serene experience to contrast the busy, loud and energetic elements of the festival. Parren wanted to show the audience white light in two different ways, resulting in two different kinds of shadows. It was an entertaining mystery to some, and a challenging puzzle to others...


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For Parren, all creative design stem from curiosity and a sense of humour. Though Parren does not say it explicity, this could be seen through his latest work such as the Dotted Lamp and Milkyway, both of which invites immediate warm feelings. The Dotted Lamp applies the revolutionary LED-light technology that allows lamps and bulbs to produce extremely high light intensity output while consuming minimum power. This delightful, simple, and elegant lamp with an LED strip clicked inside the framework was designed by the inspiration of the colourful and freely oating jelly sh, a marvel of nature. Another feature is that the colour of the light changes over time.


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As for the Milkyway, its lighting effect is reminiscent of a spinning disco. It revolves around itself while standing still and the coloured spots projected from the top of it gives the viewer a joyful experience. Parren says: “Colour has a  direct relation to the way people feel happy and delighted. We are working on research to prove this correlation. The fact is, some scienti c evidence has already indicated that delightful colour can bring people great enjoyment”.



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