MAD Lab Wednesday 15 Sep 2010

Featured in the 2010 I.D. Annual Design Review, "Bacterioptica" is MADLAB's latest design for a truly dynamic dining room chandelier. It is designed to synchronize with the life of a very unique New Jersey household, comprised of two parents, three children, a dog, and one hell of an extended family: grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, not to mention house plants, insects, allergens, fungi, and billions of bacteria that live with, on and among all humans.

Bacterioptica is not your typical chandelier, just as no household is a typical portrait of family life. It is itself a household organism - living and breathing the same air and bacteria we are. It is alive in a very literal sense: it cultivates, distributes and illuminates the bacterial life of its family members by way of a branching assembly of metal rods, glass petri dishes and fiberoptics.

Bacterioptica is adaptive by design, not only in its form and mechanics, but more importantly, in the way it evolves. Step-by-step instructions guide the family through procedures to experiment with and prepare each bacterial sample for its place in the chandelier. Whether featuring bacteria from the skin, the yard or the dinner guests, Bacterioptica is continually changing in shape and luminosity.
The chandelier's construction is a modular assembly of many simple parts, with a capacity of over one hundred samples. Petri dishes in various sizes, hundreds of metal rods, couplings, caps and canisters, and 15,000 feet of fiber optic cable all assemble into an intricate and rewritable tale of materials, bacteria and light.

designer biog


MADLAB is an award-winning and internationally published architecture firm noted for its research and innovative design services. We approach every project with a creative collaborative mindset and expanded understanding of the diverse and complex factors that influence wonderful design- from interior fixtures to urban environments. <p>Founded in 2003 by Petia Morozov and Jose Alcala, the firm is comprised of design professionals who reflect MADLAB's commitment to environmental sensitivity, intelligent creativity and client service. Each of our projects is the result of a unique vision, with a masterful expression of space, materials and systems.</p> <p>MADLAB's projects include the programming, planning and design of all types of new structures, their interiors; and the renovation, reuse and conservation of existing structures. Our clients include arts and civic organizations, cultural and educational institutions, entrepreneurs, industrial and research partners, and private homeowners.</p>