beneath the surface blog

  1. Surfaces + Colored Light = Cozy Encapsulation At A New York Nightclub

    The Cienna Ultralounge in NYC- This project piqued our interest for several reasons – highly conceptual design, sophisticated use of colored LED lighting, and innovative materiality. Designer Antonio Di Oronzo of Bluarch envisioned the ceiling as a cocoon-like element with soft, tactile, silky forms. To create this aesthetic, nearly 90,000 illuminated acrylic strands are suspended […]

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  2. Creative Backlit Designs at the 2011 IIDA Design Competition

    Over the past several months, GPI Design has enjoyed the process of working with the International Interior Design Association (IIDA) to sponsor this year’s student design competition. Students from accredited interior design schools in Ohio and Kentucky were invited to submit design proposals for the renovation of our office lobby (a drab space which was […]

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  3. Heartfelt LED Lighting by molo

    The creative folks at molo design are one of my all-time favorites for their clever manipulation of materials and lighting, and they’ve added another dimension of philanthropy to their latest design. For the Heartfelt collection, molo partnered with Architecture for Humanity to turn tote bags into portable LED lanterns. The hand-painted red dot on each […]

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  4. 5 (Ok, 6!) Reasons for Designers To Love Natural Stone Panels

    As the counterpoint to our blog post “5 Reasons For Designers To Love Faux Stone Panels”, today we take on the alternate perspective and illustrate the benefits of natural stone panels. Given that this succeeding post quickly catapulted to twelve points, which I narrowed to six here, it’s pretty clear which material we regard as […]

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  5. 5 Reasons For Designers To Love Faux Stone Panels

    Ouch. I feel like I’m backstabbing my trusted old friend, the natural stone panel. Lately we’ve seen a surge of interest in faux stone products, particularly for backlighting applications, and have found ourselves recommending these products for certain instances. There are some high-quality acrylics, poured resins, and co-polyester materials that have made advancements in the […]

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  6. Blank Canvas or Billboard? Stretch Fabric Architecture

    Sculptural forms of translucent stretch fabric twist your loftiest design visions free from constraint. With lightweight properties, stretch fabric applications defy gravity and scale limitations. Large sleek expanses of material act as a blank canvas, producing sensational effects when illuminated or used as a projector screen to transmit images. With an aesthetic that expresses impermanence […]

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  7. Manipulating Light to Shape Experience and Perception

    “To reveal art and conceal the artist is art’s aim.” – Oscar Wilde Glen Shrum of Architectural Lighting Magazine recently posted a great article “Light Art Matters: A Closer Look at the Ideas Behind the Work”. The author highlights two fundamentally different schools of thought for light artists – those who conceal lighting systems and […]

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  8. Illuminated Colors Shift Your Mindset and Your Space

    Designers, has your education and (hopefully) subsequent career left you completely terrified to implement colors other than white? Sure, sleek white will always be the go-to minimalist choice, but wouldn’t it be nice to stir things up once in awhile? Proving that colored light need not only be relegated to Vegas casinos, here are some […]

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  9. Exploring Layers of Texture: Backlit Onyx + Screens

    Expand your design palette with imaginative interior feature wall products. Stone, wood, and light are three basic elements of nature. Layer them into an integrated assembly, and the visual effect is stunning. A sleek alternative to backlit onyx mosaics, these backlit stone and wood screen panels create extravagant patterns for an interior feature walls and […]

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  10. Inventive Manipulation of Translucent Stone Material: Carvings by Barbara Segal

    Transformation: raw becomes refined, heavy becomes light, industrial becomes personal, and the everyday is celebrated. This past Sunday, the New York Times featured sculptor Barbara Segal’s custom stone carvings. An exploration of materiality and iconic forms, Barbara’s work explore the hand processing of translucent stone, transforming the material into dreamlike sculptures of everyday garments. The […]

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  11. From the Field: Backlit Onyx Communal Table at Potomac Yards Marriott

    For the Marriott Renaissance and Residence Inns located in Arlington, Virginia, the design teams at Forrest Perkins and Cooper Carry envisioned a softly glowing beacon to anchor the lobby space. With a table that wraps up the wall and returns back to form a soffit, this eye-catching piece called for a solution that included softly […]

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  12. Backlighting Translucent Glass Panels: Don’t Forget Diffusion Techniques

    Thinking of designing a backlit glass bar or countertop? It’s not quite as easy as just placing a light source behind the glass.  There are many details that can slip through the cracks in backlit architectural features, and when the lighting system is sloppy, the time and investment that you’ve put into the surface is […]

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  13. Rain, Rain Go Away – Sculpture Expresses Weather Patterns

    Cloudy skies bring to mind images of open spaces, soaring objects and unlimited imagination when interpreting their organic forms. Changes in natural cloud patterns occur rather slowly, marking the passage of time over the course of the day. In this project, the form and psychological implications of clouds, altered by a speedier manipulation of time, […]

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