There are plenty of stories about the many and diverse applications of glass fibre products in a variety of industries, mainly industrial. This will be a bit more creative and personal one, as the story behind it involves two determined young women – Viktorija Sarlane (Viktorija Šarlāne) from Valmiera and her fellow student from Serbia – Marija Dondovic. While studying at the Design Academy Eindhoven in the Netherlands, they were both inspired by the quality of our Atex® textile membrane, as a result of which Atex® has become part of their joint diploma work the newly developed product “Light Screens”.
“Light Screens” are functional light objects for open-type office spaces which do not have or do not provide for the possibility of installing separating walls for individual workplaces and which lack natural light. This light solution helps create atmospheric light. “Light Screens” also perfectly serve as light and sound control mechanisms, providing more efficient light diffusion in the room and avoiding dazzling and bright light as well as ensuring better acoustics. The shape of the produced objects is rolled out of a steel pipe to which an aluminum frame with the Atex® membrane has been fixed. LED light bulbs are used as the light source.
How did the concept come about? Where exactly did the idea of using the Atex® membrane come from? The origin of the diploma work “Light Screens” is related to Viktorija's interest in the production of Valmieras stikla šķiedra JSC. During the summer she visited the company, looked at the newest materials and learned about the latest innovations in the sector, which inspired her. To receive answers to their questions, the girls contacted the Valmieras stikla šķiedra JSC subsidiary in the UK, where Atex® membranes are manufactured. The girls started to work together on the project as they not only have a common design vision but are also friends. They believe that working together on the project has only strengthened their friendship.
Viktorija is from Valmiera, Latvia. She attended Valmiera Secondary School No. 2 and the Valmiera School of Art since her early childhood. After graduating from high school, she entered the Riga School of Design and Art and moved to Eindhoven in 2012 to continue her studies at the Design Academy Eindhoven. “There are different ways to start a project. My starting point varies; when I design, I make sure it stays fun. But the process itself is extremely concentrated. I prefer it to be clear and simple but with an unexpected ending. When I narrow things down to the most essential component, I try to expand on that by of experimenting with different materials, techniques and colours. I am always willing to modify and experiment.”
Maria is from Serbia but has been living in Austria for several years now, where she studied graphic design. In 2012, she joined the Design Academy Eindhoven to continue her studies. “When designing, I analyse how people use spaces and what their daily habits are. I focus on private but also on public spaces on both large and small scales. I like to explore the possibilities that materials give us, to zoom in on details and make them bigger.”
Viktorija and Marija are delighted with the final result, and already this year “Light Screens” were presented at the Design Week in Eindhoven, one of the largest design events in Europe. The event was attended by a large number of designers, entrepreneurs and mass media. “Our project received a warm welcome and a lot of approval. Attendees liked the look and function as well as the solution it provides and the atmosphere it creates. Many were surprised that such a pliant and transparent material was capable of reacting so well to such a small light source,” says Viktorija. “In the future, we plan to work on new projects as well as expand the “Light Screens” product family. We want to thank the Valmiera Glass Group for the opportunity to cooperate and work together,” says Viktorija.
Photo by: V.Sarlane, M.Dondovic.