Most years, Lisbon celebrates Christmas with much fanfare. Its artificial Christmas tree, once set up annually, towered over 200 feet and was one of the tallest not only in Portugal but in all of Europe. This year, however, austerity measures have forced the city to take a modest approach, so it invited artists to get creative and spread holiday cheer on a budget.
The Lisbon City Hall decided to spend less in the city Christmas lights this year but make the same this a unique moment.
Together with MUDE – Museum of Design and Fashion -invited 25 artists, architects and designers to create light sculptures to mark Christmas in Lisbon, and from those 7 installations were selected. These installations from the December 3 add color and excitement to some Lisbon noble places: Rossio Square, Augusta Street, Marquês de Pombal Square, Luís de Camões Square, Figueira Square, London Square and Chile Square.
The designer Pedro Sottomayor was selected for Figueira Square with his installation STAR CLUSTER, a constellation of bright stars that serve as benches to invite citizens to also live Christmas in the Square, downtown.
The proposal involved the installation of large stars, scattered across the square, as if several stars had fallen to the earth’s surface. The star is a very common symbol representation of the holiday season, because it was a star that announced the birth of Jesus and guided the 3 magi to the place where it was.
In this project the stars look to guide people to the square.
It was a strong characteristic of this square that there were no places to sit, counteract this characteristic was the main goal, at least in Christmas time.
The distribution of the pieces in space was not casual, was inspired by the called ‘Christmas Tree Cluster’, a constellation of stars at 2600 light years from earth, which here is represented by 24 stars, the sky like a mirror on the floor of the Square. And this distribution improves the statue integration in the square and this is fully integrated with the intervention.
The proposed lines connecting the stars together illustrate a classic representation of the natural and spatial landscape and also refer to the typical Christmas lights bulbs that circulate on a yarn.
The STAR piece also marks the beginning of the designer Pedro Sottomayor collaboration with GLOWIN, the piece brand producer that next year will launch many other furniture pieces for interior and exterior.
All the pieces are produced in HDPE, 100% recyclable, and use low consumption lamps.