Visitors to Design Miami/ from December 4–8 found themselves immersed in an astonishing architectural installation combining art, nature and science as they stepped into Mangue Groove, a mesmerizing artwork by young Brazilian architect, Guilherme Torres.
Commissioned by Swarovski Crystal Palace, Guilherme Torres was inspired by Brazilian mangrove forests (mangue is Portuguese for mangrove). This natural habitat is essential for protecting coastal environments, and it’s emblematic of Brazil’s renowned environmental beauty and growing conservation initiative.
To create his extraordinary nature-tech version of a mangrove, Mangue Groove brought his ideas to life using interconnecting transparent tubes filled with Swarovski crystals, linked by geometric joints and lit with energy-efficient LEDs. The design was inspired by the Voronoi diagram, a mathematical principle based on the division of space around corresponding focal points. This served to choreograph the way visitors navigated the walkways made of certified, reclaimed wood, which were suspended between tall mangrove structures above a pool of shimmering water. Explaining what motivated him, Torres said: “I’m always studying nature and science, and mathematics is part of my creative process—these are things that fascinate me.”
At 5pm each day, the immersive experience intensified as the dynamic mix of light and sound gradually built to a crescendo and the installation became suffused in a dramatic Amazonian sunset. It brought to life the strong yet fragile beauty of Brazil’s endangered mangrove forests in a work of remarkable resonance, designed to artistically reflect Swarovski’s commitment to water conservation.
2013 was Swarovski’s sixth consecutive year as the principle sponsor of Design Miami/. The company was keen to highlight a cause that’s very close to its heart before taking its global Waterschool program to Brazil in 2014, where it will teach school children about water conservation. The fervent hope is that these young custodians of our future will continue the work to protect not just the mangroves, but also the many other important natural habitats all over the world.