Luum was commissioned by New York-based architectural practice SHoP Architects, to develop and manufacture a bespoke lighting sculpture for the Botswana Innovation Hub situated in the capital, Gaborone. A first-of-its-kind building, The Innovation Hub provides space for technology-driven and knowledge-intensive foreign and local businesses.

The project as a whole serves a vital part of the National Vision 2016 for Botswana to support the growth of technology and innovation. SHoP’s aim was to incorporate the project’s mission into the design, taking inspiration from the patterns and textures of local craft.

Forming a central feature in the building’s main lobby, the design measures 5 metres wide by 4 metres tall and is located in a steel-clad oculus that connects the first two floors. It is comprised of 242 custom LED light modules, each one located at the node of a stainless steel net that is formed in the void between the lower floors.
SHoP’s architects were keen to free the LEDs from any visible power cables, and so Luum developed the lights to draw their power from the net, using the junctions to create a circuit that connects the modules together. Luum’s team of designers developed the project over a 12 month period, creating over 30 prototypes before arriving at a design that functioned and delivered on the brief.

The light units are machined from aluminium and acrylic and contain specially designed 3D printed parts that allow them to connect the cables of the net together. To create the overall shape, Luum worked closely with the team at SHoP to find a form that was stable when stretched into a funnel. When viewed from below, the net creates a mesmerising pattern, inspired by the living traditions of local craft in Gaborone.

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