Ice Hotel Lecture

Disney-Tron-Legacy-inspired-_-Circuitry-pattination-detail_660The call from Ian douglas from New Zealand really opened my mind to the kind of life goals i want to achieve. He was successful and had some great opportunities in his career, which inspired me to strive for the greater things in my future.

His introductory speech was focused on the basics behind the creative thinking, in terms of thinking outside the box.

Thinking within the box

Thinking within the box

Thinking within the box, good for straight forward thinkers that want a quick logical way of producing…but wheres the fun in that? Some of the most beautifully created architectural designers i can guarantee blew the box out of the water..


Turning the box  however, into a cross, eliminates the confining restraints and directs them outwards, thus creating a dimension with no limitations and boundaries, which makes for great Design.

Even taking the cross apart to leave a random order would illustrate a new concept for thinking..

I thought his ways of always saving old sketch books and using them sort of as a background story to always re work from and to re-inspire him was genius.  I’m somewhat of a hoarder myself, I understand the benefits of mixing random things together to create something new and exiting.


The most intriguing part of the lecture this morning was his discussion on the design and production of the ice hotel in sweeden.  This beautifully crafted sculpture is both an habitant and work of art. He and Ben Rousseau were asked to design and produce all the simplistic furnishings in the hotel. They were inspired by the upcoming box office hit of TRON, a futuristic bioluminescent film that is visually capturing. Using the similar synthetic EL lights found in deep-sea creatures such as jelly fish worked beautifully within the ice, although encountering predictable difficulties through inserting the tubes of luminescence into the ice, they used their creative thinking to solve the problems.

One of the difficulties was first and foremost the temperature of the ice, being almost -40 degrees, even the breath in your lungs would begin to freeze, so physically demanding this task was. He spoke about the initial drawing plans for the hotel and about how no matter how pinpointed and accurate you can produce your sketch, when it comes down to actually working and making, the outcome can be very different. This goes to show how you must be able to adapt as a designer and work through problems as you encounter them.

The overall structure of the ice hotel, took around a month to build, filling the entire space with snow then hollowing out deep tunnels to reveal an interior,  the huge ice blocks were then laid into the snow as a sort of brick and cement. The ice, remarkably, had been farmed the winter before, when the ice on the lake was as its thickest, and could withstand the weight of the huge machinery needed to shift the tons of ice. The implantation of the lights into the ice consisted of feeding hundreds of metres of the EL wiring into silicone tubes with baby oil, carving a hollow in to the ice and then freezing by spraying water on top to freeze the wire into place.

The overall outcome of the ice hotel for me, is very impressive, and just goes to show that you have no idea where life will take you, as long as you give it your all.

Collage of ice hotels best bits

Collage of ice hotels best bits


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