Series 6.Eco Icon.No.7


Icehotel in Sweden launches new ‘ Legacy of the River Suite‘ homage to’Tron

tron legacy ice hotel suite sweden

With the high profile launch of the much anticipated  Christmas blockbuster 3D TRON: Legacy having recently opened to much acclaim in cinemas across the world , a  British design duo Ben Rousseau and Ian Douglas- Jones  inspired by the Disney movie have launched  a ‘Tron’ inspired suite at the famous Icehotel in Sweden. The Icehotel is in Lapland, Sweden is the most famous, was the first and is largest of the ice hotels. It is the ultimate in ‘pop-up’ hotel concepts-as it is a temporary hotel, lasting only 5 months from December to April.Every  year the hotel is newly constructed and artists and designers are invited to collaborate in its design and construction.

Rousseau and Ian Douglas-Jones were commissioned by the Ice Hotel to create a TRON-inspired art suite for this winter using the EL wire to provide a futuristic lighting scheme. They only had 13 days to form the interior of the hotel room suite, install the lighting and install the interior scheme, which includes wall panels, a reindeer pelt covered bed and a table.The suite includes many light embedded panels, as well as a bed and table that all had to be created by hand.

With its electric blue ‘Tron’ inspired lighting scheme – this hotel ‘art suite’ looks like it came straight off the lot at ‘Pinewood’ studios. The graphic , linear light motifs are  achieved by cutting grooves into the ice slabs and with a variety of tools and then the EL wire was laid into the grooves and water was used to create new ice to “glue” the wire  icing over the wire to keep it in place.

As well as being iconic and directional in design terms the scheme for the suite is also highly energy efficient as this particular type of  energy efficient lighting technology needs very little energy and consistently and evenly glows in 360 degree. Called EL wire, or electroluminescent wire this low consumption lighting technology has many applications. An EL wire is made of a copper wire coated in a phosphor that glows when an alternating current is applied to it. The energy efficient technology allows just a few hundred feet of EL wire to be battery driven for several hours.

For the design duo their ‘art suite’ at the Ice Hotel called ‘Legacy of the River’, forms  part of their broader  launch campaign for their  new collection of illuminated furniture and interiors products scheduled to be launched in early 2011.

Given that large parts of our planet are covered in snow and ice at present-it is inspiring to see ice being turned into an art form …an energy efficient beacon in our winter of discontent….always good to turn a negative into such a good looking positive!


Series 6. Eco Icon No.3

Architectonic ‘eco jewellery’ by Lisa Linhardt

two-finger engagement ring by linhardt

two-finger engagement ring that can flip into one ring

Eco fashion and bespoke jewellery designer, Lisa Linhardt, of  Linhardt Design ,New York ,says “lots of bling seekers have no idea what environmental impact their fashion choices have until they find her.” As a designer she is totally focused on making “beautiful, sculptural pieces” but without compromising the planet’s resources as she is  a ‘green gold jeweller.

Linhardt buys 100% recycled gold from casting houses and refineries that extract it from post consumer material as opposed to being newly-mined. She can also melt the jewellery you never wear to form something new in her studio that is constructed with reclaimed barn wood . Whether the jewellery was hand-fabricated or cast, Linhardt jewellery is made with recycled precious metals. Whenever possible, Linhardt explores the boundaries of traditional jewellery materials by incorporating organic matter, such as bone, wood, and more.

Linhardt’s designs are totally unique and embody an enviable fearlessness ,exploring standard practices of jewellery design and pushing them beyond the norm. The result is an artistic statement piece that communicates a sense of the individual without saying a word. Linhardt expands standard design limitations,viewing her pieces as sculpture and architecture on a small scale.

The ring ( featured above) was a commissioned piece inspired by another Lindgardt piece- a two finger ring. It is made of recycled gold with  a milky smooth vintage ivory cabachon that was custom cut specifically . This ring has the ability to flip on to itself and can be worn either as a one-finger ring…and is as beautiful as it is sustainable.

Linhardt is constantly inspired by artisans around the world and has often participated in projects that give back to the artisans and their communities. One project Linhardt continues to take a great interest in is a her affiliation with the Kenya Education Fund – where a portion of proceeds sold in the NYC Gallery sends an African girl to college in her home country.

This is the best of ‘no compromise’ design…. definitely  all beauty and no beast….iconic ,sustainable design at its very best.