Beau McClellan, one of the world’s most respected light designers, came to Russia to present for the first time the ‘making’ of Reflective Flow to some select guests at the Moscow office of Mildberry.
Beau McClellan, who could easily be found in his recording studio, on a film set or in a blacksmith’s workshop, is currently basking in the glow of his biggest project by far: Reflective Flow, a feat of mammoth proportions in Doha, Qatar. The best teams in the world were selected by Beau to bring his concept to life: an interactive sculpture made up of 2,300 optical crystals and 82,000 LED lights to make an organic art sculpture by day and a striking, ever-changing chandelier by night.
Now, the culmination of an award-winning career filled with high-end projects throughout the world, nobody can say that it has been a straightforward journey. In fact, listing Beau’s achievements and tracing his career path is almost as intricate as most of his designs. Having left school not knowing what to do, a short stint at art college introduced Beau to the wonders of metal work. With a newfound ambition to become an artist blacksmith, he learnt the traditional techniques and classical forms to create modern sculpture pieces.
Beau was building sets after doing production for still photography for high fashion magazines. And as something of a pattern with everything he turns his hand to, the skilfully constructed sets were well received and led to set production for companies such as Coca-Cola. Soon at one of the Italian design fairs Beau wandered onto the stand of German lighting company Brumberg, where the aspiring lighting designer became fascinated by the use of LED lights and fibre optics. He asked the company to send him their leftover material and with “this huge collection of junk and a bit of information”, he made his first LED chandelier — Icicle. After rave reviews, Brumberg invited him to design his own range for the company and, in 2007, pieces from the Beau McClellan range, which comprised 14 different lights, went on to win four Red Dots at the prestigious annual design awards, an unprecedented feat for a self-taught designer. Beau McClellan had arrived.
As he established himself in the design world once and for all, he became the go-to man for some of the world’s biggest projects, such as Dubai’s Maritime City and Donald Trump’s Trump Hotel. But it was Reflective Flow to become a pioneering interactive project, the sculpture comprises low resolution screens with ever-changing content that reacts to movement and temperature, and as it’s made of mirrored glass, reflects everything around it. As night falls, the art piece lights up and takes on a whole new meaning.
The guests of the event were told by Beau about this project, about new technologies and materials used in light design, as well as about new trends in lighting.
Leading architects and designers, owners and managers of the most successful companies at the lighting technology market, both media and show-biz representatives came to see Beau in Mildberry office that night.