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New Design Museum expo is crystal clear

London's Design Museum is always a fantastic reservoir of inspiration that will get the creative juices flowing again. If you're looking for visual stimulation anytime between 5 September and 13 January, head over there to catch its latest exhibition, Digital Crystal: Swarovski at the Design Museum (opens in new tab).

Semiconductor's animation depicts crystals growing and changing colour.

Semiconductor's animation depicts crystals growing and changing colour.

Swarovski (opens in new tab) - the jewellery, fashion and home accessories company - is sponsoring the event, with commissions going out to 15 top designers across a range of media, including Troika (opens in new tab), Yves Behar (opens in new tab) (main image), Semiconductor (opens in new tab), Ron Arad (opens in new tab) and Random International (opens in new tab).

Each designer has built an installation based on the idea of memory in this digital age. Some have chosen to focus on the digital, while others have decided to look at how crystal forms and materials can be used to represent memories in the physical world. And some have combined the two.

Memory in the digital age

"The [Digital Crystal] exhibition takes this as its starting point, to question the future and our relationship with the changing world, where it seems all too easy to lose connection with the tangible and the real, as we move ever faster to a digital age where memory and the personal possessions we once held so highly are now online or gone in an instant," explains Deyan Sudjic, director of the Design Museum.

Troika's installation project old photos through crystal lenses, representing memories.

Troika's installation project old photos through crystal lenses, representing memories.

Yves Behar's piece, for instance, sees the same crystal form repeated over and over again in an extensive lighting exhibition, while Troika also uses light but projects images through Swarovski lenses in an homage to film and text.

Hye-Yeon Park (opens in new tab), a former Designer In Residence at the Design Museum, has captured the form of a polar bear in an extruded ring-shaped crystal - if the polar bear becomes extinct this will be a memory of the once impressive creature.

Meanwhile, Semiconductor has created an animation of mineral crystals growing, and changing in form and colour.

Hye-Yeon Park's crystal creation captures the form of the polar bear.

Hye-Yeon Park's crystal creation captures the form of the polar bear.

Other artists have used light, motion, explosions, 3D lenticulars and even tweets and SMS messaging in their installations. Inspiration has come from some incredibly varied sources as well such as the Large Hadron Collider at CERN (Philippe Malouin (opens in new tab)) and religous and mytical symbols (Hilda Hellstrm (opens in new tab)).

Admission to the Digital Crystal Exhibition will be £10 for adults, £9 concessions and £6 for students. Under-12s go free.

Paul Cocksedge has created a 3D environment based on crystals.

Paul Cocksedge has created a 3D environment based on crystals.

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