Helios, Darc Awards 2017

For the third year running dpa were invited to participate in designing an installation for the darc Awards, held on 14th September 2017.  This year proved particularly successful as dpa designers Ingo Kalecinski, Veronica Lykou and Laura Voss from our London studio, won the first prize on the evening for their installation Helios, which means sun in Greek.

A total of 12 teams of lighting designers, each partnered with a lighting manufacturer, were tasked to create their vision of an exciting, immersive light art installation to be showcased on the night of the awards with each guest being given one vote to cast for their favourite installation. This year dpa were partnered with LED Linear with local support by Architainment, UK.

As part of their brief, each team was provided with a modular kit to construct their own geodesic dome framework, which had to form an integral part of the final design and was restricted in size to create a level playing field for all participating teams.

From early on in their design process, the dpa team agreed to focus their thoughts around LED Linear’s product range of flexible homogeneous lines of light and the designers were also keen to flip their dome on its side, eventually providing the full circular elevation required for their final design. Although very much inspired by the clean lines and mesmerising characteristics of traditional neon lights, the designers also welcomed the added benefit of full colour control the LED fixtures provided and used it to its fullest extent.

Helios is a stylised sequenced representation of the sun, emerging out of a total eclipse into its full bloom before slowly starting its descent into the shimmering evening sea and finally disappears into the night. Clean graphic lines of light formed into the internal volume of the geodesic dome provide the viewer with an ever changing range of perspectives and only when viewed straight on, will form a complete circular sun. Although intentionally kept very simple, graphically, individual colours of light for each scene were meticulously identified for being as true to nature as possible.

The introduction scene was always considered very important and was intended to provide a contrast to the slow fading scenes that would follow, and draw the viewers’ attention immediately. Once more inspired by conventional light sources such as neon or fluorescent lamps, which often flicker when faulty or whilst warming up, the opening scene utilises cool white light only.

Photography: Courtesy of Tommaso Gimigliano – dpa