Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Lamps by Olafur Eliasson and Little Sun for Tivoli Gardens

Acclaimed Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson and his social business Little Sun have created a series of lamps, the Little Sun Light Swarm, for Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen. From tomorrow, when the historical amusement park opens its summer season, the 33 lamps hovering among the trees along the Tivoli Lake will delight visitors with their distinct shape, diverse colours, and changing appearance, shifting from transparent to luminous.

At a press conference today, artist Olafur Eliasson revealed the thirty-three lamps, each constructed from two identical intersecting geometric bronze frames around a tetrahedral core. Panels of dichromatic glass and polished stainless steel mirrors are set into the frames in five different combinations. The lamps change colours as the passers-by move past and around them although only one type of glass has been used; this effect is caused by the dichromatic glass, which filters some wavelengths and reflects others. A cluster of LEDs illuminate the lamps from within a faceted lens at the core, producing ambient lighting at night. Taken together, the lamps create a shimmering, multicoloured swarm swaying gently in the breeze. Cyclists and passers-by on H. C. Andersens Boulevard may also catch a glimpse of the lamps outside the park – spreading the spirit of Tivoli out into the city.

Olafur Eliasson says: “Throughout its history Tivoli has used light to create a magical atmosphere in which dreams and reality blend. It is a space that appeals to our creativity and imagination. At the same time, Tivoli has long been conscious of our environment, with the entire park now powered by renewable energy. This is why Little Sun and I teamed up to create the Little Sun Light Swarm lamps for Tivoli Gardens, to shine a light both in Copenhagen and in rural Africa – the proceeds from the project will go to support Little Sun’s work in remote areas of Africa, bringing solar energy to communities living off grid.”

Eliasson consulted Tivoli’s design office and lighting designer Jesper Kongshaug in developing the project. 

Tivoli’s CEO Lars Liebst approached Olafur Eliasson several years ago. In 2016, their plans for an Eliasson design for Tivoli became a reality. According to Lars Liebst this project represents tradition as well as innovation, Danish as well as international design:

Tivoli history is full of excellent lighting and design. Scandinavian Modern iconic designer Poul Henningsen, PH, designed lamps for Tivoli. With Olafur Eliasson’s new lamp we are taking a new, big step along that road. Eliasson’s international reputation is huge, and I expect many design fans among Tivoli’s future guests, not least tourists who want to experience this must-see work of art.”


Size 100 x 100 x 150 cm

Weight per lamp 35–55 kg

Hanging above Eywin Langkilde’s Hanging Gardens from 1955

Designed by Olafur Eliasson and Little Sun 

About Olafur Eliasson

Olafur Eliasson (born 1967, Copenhagen) is a Danish-Icelandic visual artist who works in a wide range of media, including installation, painting, sculpture, photography, and film. Since 1997, his solo shows have appeared in major museums around the world, including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Tate Modern, London; Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebæk; Moderna Museet, Stockholm; and the Venice Biennale. In 2003, The weather project at Tate Modern, London, was seen by more than two million people. Eliasson’s projects in public space include Green river, realised in various cities between 1998 and 2001; The New York City Waterfalls, 2008; the facades of Harpa Reykjavik Concert Hall and Conference Centre (in collaboration with Henning Larsen Architects), 2005–2011; and Ice Watch, for which Eliasson and geologist Minik Rosing transported massive blocks of glacial ice from Greenland to public squares in Copenhagen (2014) and Paris (2015) to raise awareness of climate change.Established in 1995, his Berlin studio today numbers about ninety craftsmen, specialised technicians, architects, archivists, administrators, and cooks. They work with Eliasson to develop and produce artworks and exhibitions, as well as on experimentation, archiving, and communication, digitally and in print. Since 2012 Eliasson has directed the social enterprise Little Sun with engineer Frederik Ottesen, and, in 2014, Eliasson and Sebastian Behmann founded Studio Other Spaces to focus on interdisciplinary and experimental building projects and works in public space.

About Little Sun

Little Sun is a social business and global project founded by artist Olafur Eliasson and engineer Frederik Ottesen to bring clean, reliable, affordable energy to the 1.1 billion people in the world living in off-grid areas without electricity. The project’s first product, the Little Sun Original solar LED lamp, was launched in 2012 and is sold all over the world, and the second product, Little Sun Charge, a solar phone charger, came out in 2016. Purchasing Little Suns in areas of the world with electricity makes the products available in off-grid areas at reduced, locally affordable prices, where they provide a clean alternative to toxic and expensive fuel-based lighting and a steadfast and clean alternative to relying on the electrical grid. Since its official launch at London’s Tate Modern, more than 500,000 Little Sun lamps have been distributed worldwide, with half going to off-grid areas. In April 2014, Little Sun received a ground-breaking $5 million impact investment loan from Bloomberg Philanthropies, making it possible to scale up Little Sun’s operations across the African continent.

Little Sun is a certified B Corporation.  


Twitter: @olafureliasson, @littlesun

Facebook: studioolafureliasson, ilovelittlesun

Instagram: studioolafureliasson, littlesunenergy

Images for free editorial use in connection with this story:

Please credit Tivoli and Mathias Fjeldborg

Caption: Little Sun Light Swarm, 33 lamps designed by Olafur Eliasson and Little Sun for Tivoli Gardens

Media contact

Tivoli: Torben Plank, / + 452223 7440

Little Sun: Rabea Koss,,  +49 30 2000 391 – 41