hexalite with Zeinab Al Hashemi and Swarovski

Dubai Design Week. Core Building, d3 Design District, Dubai

24–29 October 2016

Hexalite is a playful, kaleidoscopic artwork by Dubai-based artist Zainab Al Hashemi, commissioned by Swarovski as part of Dubai Design Week. The outdoor installation, inspired by the symbolic significance of the number 33, consists of 33 mirrored steel hexagons, connected together in a free-standing structure in the middle of the d3 design district.

Embellished with 1,145 Swarovski crystals and mirrored prisms, Hexalite throws out coloured refractions and distorted reflections that change with each angle and the time of day. In numerology, 33 is believed to represent world harmony, logic and the balance of power and creation. The hexagon is a recurring motif in Al Hashemi’s work.

Having worked with Swarovski before on previous projects [LINK], millimetre was pleased to partner them again for the technical design process and fabrication of Hexalite. Woking closely with Zainab and the Swarovski team we developed the piece through sketching and modelling [Rhino]. Rendered images were produced to better understand the bounced light and reflections. We produced test pieces then photographed them from several angles and in different lights to better assess the effects of changes to the geometry and positioning of the prisms and crystals, each time responding to feedback from the Zainab and the wider team.

The piece is both visually delicate and physically robust, engineered to withstand heat and potentially high winds in partnership with engineers Morph Structures. The artwork stood as the centrepiece to the d3 district’s Design Week.

316L Stainless Steel structure
1,145 Swarovski crystals
Nickel plated Brass rivets
Polished base structure by others
Zeinab Al Hashemi
Dubai Design Week
Morph Structures
Photography: ©Glasshopper