Using magnetic fields to illuminate suspended orb-like modules in mid air, Guy Blashki replaces the traditional “flick of a switch” with magnetic energy. A soft cool blue colour illuminates when the lower module is lifted towards the upper module with the magnetic energy acting as the switching mechanism. Called the Apollo 2 Magnetic Light, the product is very much in the conceptual stages and Blashki is excited about the prospect of taking Apollo 2 to potential manufacturers.

Blashki, who recently graduated from RMIT Industrial Design (Honours), has already received critical acclaim with his Apollo 2 taking out first prize in the 2002 Melbourne Fringe Furniture Lighting Award.

“Through design I wanted to show that there is more to lighting products than meets the eye. Light in its many guises is an integral part of our interaction with the world and magnets provide an avenue from which to explore this,” Blashki says.

“The light modules look a bit like floating pods reminiscent of early space probes or glowing jellyfish in a dark pool.”

The magnetic field between the two modules is strong enough to prevent interference to the stability of the light from passing your hand between them.

For Blashki the Apollo 2 Magnetic Light is the result of an investigation into the interactive potential of feature lighting.

“The light allows us to explore our appreciation and awareness of light beyond the standard ‘flick of a switch’. It is about the relationship between tactile sensation and visual response while maintaining the allure of magnetic attraction.”

Blashki believes the ideal application for Apollo 2 would be as an architectural installation of an array of modules running down a hallway or against a wall. 

In prototype stage, the modules are made from thermoformed acrylic mouldings, sandblasted internally and held together in a ‘friction fit’ without use of glues or bonding agents.

Each module houses nedymium rare earth magnets and 12 LEDs in each upper and lower module. The unit is powered from a 6v DC transformer, identical to a mobile phone charger. An innovation patent is in application for the use of the magnets in lighting systems.

“Design is a way for me to capture and realise my imagination,” Blashki said. The Apollo 2 Magnetic Light represents this, as it appeals beyond traditional lighting products. 

“To turn the light on you gently raise the dormant module which begins to glow as it leaves your hand and light enters the space in every sense. To turn it off you gently lower the illuminated module which fades into your hand giving you the sense of light falling from space.”

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