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IGNITE to deliver interactive, out-of-this-world experience

It looks like a strange, colorful sphere that came down from the sky to land in Anne Frankplantsoen, but it’s the interactive light artwork that Team IGNITE made for GLOW 2023. The student team is giving visitors the opportunity to have a dynamic conversation with this GLOWBLE, measuring three and a half meters across. They have also made seventy signposts for the expected 700,000 people walking the light art route.

photo Vera Scheve

In the park, a large sphere with light signals will ‘converse’ with the GLOW audience between November 11 and 18. The experience is powered by acoustic cameras of engineering agency Sorama. The way people clap or talk will be visualized by 1,200 led light clusters attached to the framework. It is covered by an air-filled plastic shell, created in collaboration with Publi.air, which ensures the light is distributed. The hundreds of lights previously adorned light artwork AnTUenna on the chimney stack of Ceres – they were individually cleaned in soapy water by the student team – and cannot be seen separately.


Designing and constructing GLOWBLE and Paper Trails, a second artwork by IGNITE, gave quite some anticipatory pleasure to the three team members Cursor talked to. Lieke Diederen, Vera Scheve and Emma Eisma had already joined the student team in the previous academic year and were very much up for more. “I joined to learn something beyond my Industrial Design studies, and I did, but it doesn’t stop for me there. I still have great fun working with the group of friends I made over the past year,” says Vera. Lieke agrees, adding that she discovered she enjoys management and education at least as much as “designing nice things”. She visited two high schools with a light project and is now on the IGNITE board.


The trio has a lot of fun building things together. “One assembly night, we had gathered here in Monumentum to manufacture seventy light objects shaped like paper airplanes out of plexiglass,” says Emma. Twenty of those could already be seen at Stadhuisplein last year. That pilot led to an improved version for this edition of GLOW. “Now they’re more waterproof, the finishing is smoother, the edges have been polished so the light falls better, and there are a lot more of them. The new location is also an improvement. As they’re now suspended above the dark surface of the Dommel river near the Van Abbe Museum, they’re more visible, including as a reflection in the water.” The paper planes are intended to signpost less obvious sections of the route.


Among other things, the work for GLOWBLE consisted of building the 500-kilogram PVC construction, cleaning the lights, and attaching them to strips of cloth. For Paper Trails, the team members had to sand, solder and assemble. Both artworks have of course been tested, but the expected number of visitors to GLOW (totaling about 700,000 for the week last year) does make for an exciting project. Emma: “We ran tests both in the office and in the shack where GLOWBLE is set up. First with team members, then with as many Monumentum users as we could gather, and later with friends and family as well. We can’t mimic the huge crowds, but we are confident everything will go as planned.” The trio had a positive experience with last year’s artwork, UNPLUGGED (which resembled a giant plug and was also situated in Anne Frankplantsoen), which handled the interaction with the audience just fine. “So that’s what we’re hoping for again.”

This year’s GLOW route is five kilometers long and runs via the station, 18 Septemberplein, Emmasingel, Wilhelminaplein, Bilderdijklaan, Victoriapark and Stadhuisplein. Light artworks will also be on display in the surrounding municipalities of Best, Geldrop, Waalre, Mierlo and Oirschot. The campus is involved every five years, most recently in 2021.

Editorial note

The amount of journalistic freedom at Cursor is very unclear at the moment. In collaboration with the unions, the editorial staff has submitted a proposal letter with suggestions regarding press freedom to the Executive Board, and a first discussion has taken place. This article was published in anticipation of the outcome of the negotiation process.

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