Rotterdam’s Studio WM turns a bathroom vanity into something magical using dichroic glass.
1 The Concept
At first glance, Lucent Mirror looks straight-forward: a reflective glass surface in the shape of a full moon and mounted to a row of three ultra-slim shelves. Its real wonder, though, becomes clear when the mirror is gently pushed from one side to the other. A hidden LED begins to glow, and within a few seconds the mirror turns transparent, its reflective properties all but gone, revealing the items stored on the shelves behind. “The magic is in the material,” says Studio WM’s Maarten Collignon, who has crafted two variations of the shelf with his partner, Wendy Legro.
2 The Development
The material is dichroic glass, which undergoes a colour change in certain lighting conditions (it is more commonly used as a light filter in theatres). “We were intrigued by its qualities and wanted to find ways to exploit that,” says Legro. Lucent Mirror-Shelf operates more like a lamp, and it doesn’t slide but turns on and off with an embedded dimmer. One of the key challenges with this version was determining how to conceal the electronics within a single shelf just 16 millimetres deep. The duo settled on a brass button that lies flush with the shelf and is engraved with the initials WM.
3 The Presentation
The results of both products are mesmerizing: the mirror reflects a tinge of lavender, while the light casts a complimentary yellow hue. When the initial designs were presented in Milan this spring, visitors intuitively knew how to use them, either by sliding the mirror or pressing the dimmer (although the pair did their fair share of demonstrations). “People called it magic,” says Legro, laughing. Adds Maarten, “It becomes a piece of home jewellery. Instead of a painting, you can hang a mirror.” They now sell Lucent Mirror through their studio in Rotterdam.