EL wire, or electroluminescent wire, is an energy efficient lighting technology used for a wide variety of applications. An EL wire is composed of a copper wire coated in a phosphor that glows when an alternating current is applied to it. The energy efficient technology allows just a few hundred feet of EL wire to be driven by AA batteries for several hours.
Ben Rousseau and Ian Douglas–Jones, a designer and an architect by training, joined forces to work on this project as well an illuminated furniture line to be released next year. The duo were asked to create a TRON-inspired art suite for the Icehotel this winter using the EL wire to provide a futuristic lighting scheme. They had 13 days to build out the interior of the hotel room suite, install the lighting and polish and buff out the interior furnishings, which includes wall panels, a reindeer pelt covered bed and a table. Grooves for the EL wire were cut into ice slabs with a variety of tools and then the wire was laid into the grooves and water was used to create new ice to “glue” the wire into place.
The Icehotel in Lapland, Sweden is the first, largest and most famous of the various ice hotels around the world. Each year the Icehotel is constructed anew and artists and designers are asked to collaborate in the process. A large warehouse and various snow and ice making techniques are utilized to create ice blocks, ice slabs, snow packed domes, furniture and features that make up the temporary hotel.
The duo were also being followed around by a video crew who shooting for a TV show called Extreme Design, which will feature designers working in extreme conditions. Temperatures reached -32 degrees Celsius, and the duo were outfitted from head to toe in Oakley winter gear in order to stay warm as they built their suite in the Swedish hotel.
Images ©Linus Nordensson Spångberg and Adrian Nordenborg