Lucas Maassen has created a crystal chandelier using DNA as the starting point for the design.
Valerie, My Crystal Sister is a crystal chandelier that will be presented by Dutch designer Lucas Maassen, in collaboration with global healthcare company Roche, for the new Confrontations: Contemporary Dutch Design exhibition at the Vitra Design Museum.
After several months together with Roche, he successfully crystallized synthetic DNA fragments (which are present in Maassen's parents). A magnified glass version of the resulting crystal, only visible under the microscope, was then produced by Vienna-based crystal manufacturer Lobmeyr. 1000 such pieces then formed a crystal chandelier.
Maassen continues, "Ultimately, this project is about the visualization of life. DNA is the basic code of life, an essential part of every organism."
The chandelier was named for the sister Maassen never had because his parents' marriage ended too soon.
Thinking of her, he called the project Valerie, my Crystal Sister, giving the chandelier the name his parents would have chosen for him had he been a girl. The chandelier, and thus, their 'crystal daughter', was assembled by Maassen's parents in a performance on June 12th at the Vitra Design Museum.
Photos and video: Mike Roelofs (except DNA crystals by Roche)