Geometry of Light is a three-night light and sound art installation in the iconic Farnsworth House, designed by Mies van der Rohe, and on the surrounding land. Completed in 1951 and opened to the public in 2004, the Farnsworth House was the weekend home of Chicago research physician Dr. Edith Farnsworth. This outdoor intervention will uncover the forgotten history of the site and remnants of earlier landscape by revealing the underlying geometries that relate the world-renowned house to its river floodplain, site topography, and key trees that no longer exist.
In concert with the projected light, a custom-designed sound piece by Oriol Tarragó is integral to this experience. Developed in direct response to the site, this auditory component uses the pitch of the space to create a tonal reading. Together these elements provide a new interpretation of the Farnsworth House and its extraordinary location.
Geometry of Light premiered this past February at the German Pavilion in Barcelona designed by Mies van der Rohe and Lilly Reich. The installation was presented as part of the Fundació Mies van der Rohe’s ongoing program of artistic interventions also corresponding with the LLUM BCN Festival and the Santa Eulàlia Festival.
Geometry of Light is part of the Year of German-American Friendship 2018|19 initiated by the German Federal Foreign Office, the Goethe-Institut, and is supported by the Federation of German Industries (BDI). This project is generously supported by the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts and Bosch Power Tools – North America. Additional support provided by Chuck Thurow, Virtue Cider, and many individual donors.
Geometry of Light is part of the 100 Years of Bauhaus and a partner program of the 2019 Chicago Architecture Biennial.
ArchDaily, “Luftwerk and Iker Gil Install Light Intervention at the Farnsworth House”
Arquine, “Geometría de la luz: Casa Farnsworth”
Arquitectura y Diseño, “Un láser descubre la extraordinaria geometría de la casa Farnsworth de Mies van der Rohe”
Colossal, “Site-Specific Installations Accentuate the Geometric Architecture of Mies Van Der Rohe”
Dezeen, “Geometry of Mies van der Rohe’s Farnsworth House illuminated with red lasers”
Fubiz, “The Geometries of Light”
Hypebeast, “Mies van der Rohe’s Farnsworth House Lights Up With Red Lasers”
Interesting Engineering, “Light and Sound Geometric Installations Highlight Stunning Mies Van Der Rohe Architecture”
Metalocus, “Geometry of Light en la Casa Farnsworth por Luftwerk & Iker Gil”
National Trust for Historic Preservation, “Geometry of Light: Art Meets Architecture at Farnsworth House”
Newcity, “Lines, Lasers and Lost Landscapes: Geometry of Light at the Farnsworth House”
Plataforma Arquitectura, ““Geometry of light”: una intervención multimedia en la Casa Farnsworth”
World Architecture, “Iker Gil And Luftwerk Use Red Lasers To Revive The Geometry Of Mies Van Der Rohe’s Farnsworth House”
Yatzer, “Geometry of Light: A Multimedia Installation Connects the Iconic Architecture of Farnsworth House with its Pastoral Setting”
Type: Art Installation
Location: Farnsworth House, Plano, Illinois.
Conceptual Design: Luftwerk in collaboration with Iker Gil
Organizers: Farnsworth House, National Trust for Historic Preservation, and MAS Context
Sound Design: Oriol Tarragó
Programming: Andy Kauff
Photography: Kate Joyce
Videography: Most Visual
Leading Institutional Support: Wunderbar Together, German Federal Foreign Office, Goethe-Institut, Federation of German Industries (BDI), Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, and Bosch Power Tools – North America
Leading Individual Support: Chuck Thurow
Support: Paola Aguirre, Leslie Bodenstein, Will Forrest, Joanne Gross, Tom Lee, Ann Lui, Jason Pickleman, Craig Reschke, and Tom Rossiter