[Translate to English:] Foto | Vilnius Light Festival

IGNITE installation shines at Lithuanian light festival

Building 150 cubes for a light installation with only five team members at the borders of Europe: the team behind the Hypar Collective light artwork has had a tough week. For the first time in two years, the students were given the opportunity to show the entire light installation again. This time in Lithuania at the Vilnius Light Festival, which took place from August 13 till 15.

photo Foto | Vilnius Light Festival

“The last time we built all 150 cubes was during the Eindhoven light festival GLOW in 2019,” says Anne Hopstaken, team member of Hypar Collective and master student Industrial Design at TU/e. The team behind Hypar Collective – IGNITE - which was founded in 2017 by students of Built Environment and Industrial Design, had challenges building up the installation again at other events: “Due to corona and all the measures, we have not had the chance to show the complete installation at a festival in two years. Larger light festivals such as in Copenhagen and Brussels were canceled at the last moment due to the strict measures. In Vilnius we were allowed to rebuild the entire installation for the first time again.”

Vilnius Light Festival

The Vilnius Light Festival is an annual event where light installations can be admired during a city walk. “Artists from all over the world came to Vilnius and the number of visitors was comparable to that of GLOW; about 200,000.” Due to corona, it was quite a challenge for the team to get there and to get the cubes there on time. “It was uncertain until the last minute whether we could go. An additional hurdle was that not everyone on the team had been fully vaccinated, so we had to take into account a mandatory quarantine period in Lithuania. In addition, not everyone on the team was able to participate. During GLOW 2019, we set up the installation with the entire team, which consists of eleven people. Now we had to do it with five people, with less time.” Whether the material would arrive on time was a bit thrilling as well. “We sent the cubes with a truck.”

Less material

Hopstaken is more than satisfied with the course of events. “We worked hard, but everything went smoothly. When we were in a lockdown during corona times, we looked at whether we could make an efficiency improvement, for construction to go faster.”

During the event itself, everything went really smoothly and the team no longer had to keep an eye on the installation. “We then started walking the route ourselves to take a look at the other projects and to speak with artists.” The team was lucky that the event took place outdoors, which made the corona measures less strict. “Obviously, the public had to keep their distance and we have deleted the interactive part, where visitors can influence the light. This involves touching, which we and the organization did not consider responsible.”

Rainbow colours

At the request of the festival, the Hypar Collective team had adapted the light show. “During the show, rainbow colors passed by every now and then. We received a request from the organization to fit that in. Lithuania still has a long way to go in terms of accepting the LGBTQ+ community. The festival wanted to send a message of support to this community and of course we wanted to do our part.”

The future

The planning for the coming period is still very uncertain due to the corona measures, Hopstaken says. “We are now focusing on GLOW 2021, which will take place in November this year. We then want to rebuild the entire installation, but also show what else we have to offer in terms of technology and light. If new measures are announced, we will continue to develop and we hope that another opportunity like the Vilnius Light Festival will occur.”

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