Canadian-born, London-based Philippe Malouin is lighting up the Miami Design District this holiday season with a playful take on the traditional lamppost. His “Speed of Light” installation uses utilitarian design, simple fixtures, and electricity to propel LED globes in a rollercoaster of light through the Paseo Ponti corridor. 

(Speed of Light)

Using the same technology behind toy cars to power a suspended spherical bulb from an electric rail, the storefronts of neighbors such as Hermès and Dior are illuminated along a circuit that ebbs and flows.  Malouin’s minimalist design is especially accessible, and seems to set the would-be stage for unsuspecting visitors as performers—it’s as if their movement, along with this melodic loop of light, is part of the designer’s unrehearsed choreography where shoppers move in symphony with the installation.

In an interview with DesignBoom.com, Malouin explained his approach for this special commission, “The whole process [behind ‘Speed of Light’] has been about creating something kinetic that also has a meditative aspect to it.”

(Left: Malouin with The Speed of Light; Right: Onlookers observing the installation)

Malouin has a Bachelor’s degree from the Design Academy Eindhoven, and has also studied at the École Nationale Supérieure de Création Industrielle in Paris and University of Montreal. He currently lives and works in London, setting up his studio in 2009 after working for English designer Tom Dixon. Malouin is also the director of POST-OFFICE, an architectural and interiors design practice; and his diverse portfolio includes clients Hem, Ace Hotel, MATTER, Established & Sons, Roll & Hill, 1882 ltd., Kvadrat, Umbra Shift, Caesarstone, IZÉ, Swarovski, Bloomberg, Aesop and Touch Digital.  He has won the W Hotels ‘Designer of the Future’ Award and the Wallpaper ‘Best Use of Material’ Award, among others.

“Speed of Light” is on view at Paseo Ponti between 40th and Palm Court for the season.

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