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Organs Light Art

Design: Kristján Kristjánsson

Scope: Lighting design

Project type: Light Art

Location: Reykjavik, Iceland

Year: 2019

Size: N/A

Client: Collaboration artwork

Status: Completed


  • Darc awards - In art: Low Budget - Shortlisted


  • Sigga Heimis

  • Gagarín

  • Gunnar Árnason

  • Arnar Leifsson

  • Corning Museum of Glass USA

Lighting suppliers: Osram, e cue lighting software

Photography: Courtesy of Kingoden


With the commencement of a new legislation in Iceland that prescribes every Icelandic resident to be an organ donor, an exhibit was realized to promote awareness and educate the importance of such donation. Since, on average about 30 Icelanders are in dire need of AN organ transplant each year.

Lighting design for the exhibit was conceptualized working with the interaction of light with colour, form, texture and transparency of materials. By examining the anatomy of each organ that was fabricated in glass, the variations in form in terms of surface curvature, edges and thickness were utilized as optics to attenuate light, in order to emphasize and delineate the glass organs displayed at the exhibit. Furthermore, to demonstrate the characteristic of an organ in its functional state, lighting scenes were programmed to mimic the movement or the function of the organ within the human body.

It was desired to re-use LED´s from a budget standpoint, also since such reuse related to the organ donation program. Majority of light sources at this installation were salvaged from existing, outdated backlight modules.

Each organ installation comprised of light points/LED´s embedded to achieve a focal glow and stimulate curiosity.  The maximum light points on an installation were 16, with three different colour temperature sources at varying beam angles. The number of light points per installation was kept to a minimum, to be able to just achieve the desired effect whilst keeping the budget to minimum.

Gagarin design team added to the experience by using X Rays of real organs, and transforming selected cluster of images into moving narratives, to convey meaningful messages and educate the visitors.

The gallery is equipped with large window facade, X rays images where added to the glass windows from the inside. To make these images visible from the outside, linear strip lights were used to graze the window interiors. With the windows being used as display media enhanced the atmosphere drastically, transforming the glass windows to a crucial element part of the exhibition.

The exhibition opened in Ásmundarsalur on 11th of January, 2019 and ran until February 17th, 2019. Light and lighting design was a major component of this exhibit.

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