SOFTlab is a design studio based in New York City. Michael Szivos created the studio shortly after earning a graduate degree in architecture from the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation at Columbia University. The studio has since designed and produced projects across almost every medium, from digitally fabricated large-scale sculpture to interactive design to immersive digital video installations.
Speaking of design process, SOFTlab Studio says:
"The crystalline structure we have created for Melissa’s NYC store is inspired by their Winter 2015 collection, Star Walker. Crystals are both highly refined structures and yet primitive. They can be found everywhere, but are anything but ordinary. Much like the shoes in Melissa’s Sky Walker collection, the ordered asymmetry of crystalline structures always inspires beauty. Inspired by both the shoes and crystals, we have produced an immersive installation that looks different from every angle. We have taken advantage of the irregularities in the overall form of the installation to turn Melissa’s NYC store into a kaleidoscope of color and light. By cladding the complex aluminum structure with dichroic acrylic, the piece changes color and reflectivity as visitors move around it. By lighting the pieces from within the large crystalline structures will cast colored light onto the white store using it as a canvas. The installation acts as both a spectacular form and a giant lantern creating a landscape of color, filling the store with an otherworldly atmosphere. The structure is lightweight compared to its large volume. Using the principles of both crystal growth and soap bubbles the piece appears to have grown in the store. Overall the structure is made of over 50 unique cells and over 400 pieces of custom cut aluminum. Although the pieces are all flat they come together to form a complex three dimensional assembly. All of the parts were labeled and the individual cells were pre-assembled off site and then combined in the store. The dichroic acrylic was used in tandem with this cell like structure to take advantage of the variation in panel angles. The dichroic film causes interference in light depending on the angle of view creating planes in a range of color much like light passing through a crystal."